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Allon Schoener collection

Identifier: 2010.008
This collection consists of research materials for a planned book and exhibition entitled, "The Chinese in America." These materials include paper documents, such as correspondence, budgets, photocopied articles and images, and rough drafts; audio-visual materials, such as DVDs, VHS cassette tapes, and CDs; and printed material, such as books and one issue of National Geographic. Most of these materials date from 2004-2007, although there are a few publications from the late 1980s and early 1990s. Series one consists mostly of correspondence between the donor and other members of the project team; financial documents, such as budgets and receipts; grant applications and correspondence with funders; and initial proposals and time schedules. Series two includes initial research in the form of reports, journals, articles, and documentaries. The third series contains correspondence with various institutions regarding their photograph collections and copies of these images, in many cases. The next six series represent the six chapters in the book; within each series, there are a number of research categories that the donor/author devised to shape each chapter. The material associated with these categories consists of images and research articles. The tenth series includes print samples of the book, minus some of the text, and promotional materials for the book and accompanying exhibition. The final series consists of books and one magazine used by the donor in his research. Objects are also searchable via PastPerfect Online System at


  • Majority of material found in 2003-2008

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

For reference use only; not for reproduction, distribution, or deposit in another collection. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Director of Collections. If publishing, cite: Allon Schoener Collection, Museum of Chinese in America.


6.5 Linear Feet (7 archival boxes (6 standard and 1 small)) : 6.5 linear feet of paper documents, books, CDs, DVDs, and VHS cassette tapes

Biographical / Historical

Allon Schoener is a cultural historian, author, and exhibition developer and consultant. His books include "New York: An Illustrated History of the People"; "Harlem On My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America (1900-1968)"; "The Italian Americans"; and "Portal to America: The Lower East Side (1875-1925)", among others. He has organized exhibitions such as "Georges Braque" at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center; "The Lower East Side: Portal to American Life" at The Jewish Museum; "Harlem On My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and "Erie Canal" at the New York State Council on the Arts, to name a few. In addition, he has been the director of such institutions as the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. Around 2004, he conceived the idea for a book and accompanying exhibition on the history of Chinese Americans. From 2004-2007, he researched and wrote multiple drafts of the book, culminating in a print sample, but the book was never published and the exhibition never came to fruition. In 2015, he donated his research materials, including a number of books, to the Museum of Chinese in America.


Arranged into 11 series, primarily based on the original order and names of the donor's files: [1] Background information; [2] Raw reasearch; [3] Image research; [4] Chapter 1: 1848-1882; [5] Chapter 2: 1883-1909; [6] Chapter 3: 1910-1945; [7] Chapter 4: 1945-1964; [8] Chapter 5: 1965-2000; [9] Chapter 6: Chinese in America Today; [10] Print samples; and [11] Printed material.

File Plan

In most cases, the names of the series and individual files are taken directly from the original donation. However, the order of some series and files has been changed to establish a more fluid chronology.


This finding aid was created with grant support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Allon Schoener Collection
Lauren Stark

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Chinese in America Repository

70 Mulberry Street,2nd floor
New York NY 10013 USA