The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum is pleased to announce Jiātíng gùshì (“Family Stories”): Intergenerational Oral History Project at the SDCHM, which will involve the community in exploring innovative ways to engage visitors with the history of the San Diego Chinese community.  Through this project, the SDCHM will invite museum community members to share stories with their family through oral history interviews to take place via a series of public workshops. Workshops will take place at the Pei Chen Liu and Tsuan-Nien Chang Library at the Museum’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension (328 J Street, San Diego 92101) starting July 27, 2019.

Each workshop will see Museum stakeholders share stories related to one of six different themes, inspired by objects of the Museum’s permanent collection. The themes include:

      • Ah Quin: a founding father of San Diego
      • Chinese markets in downtown San Diego
      • The history of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association as a community-based organization in San Diego
      • Stories of Chinese-American veterans
      • The Chinese Mission Church
      • The creation of the Asian-Pacific Thematic Historic District in downtown San Diego

Workshops will take place in English, Standard Chinese (Mandarin) and/or Cantonese, depending on the language preferences of participants.  

These workshops will mark the start of an ongoing oral history program here at the Museum. Interview conversations will be recorded as audio, transcribed, and made available for public consultation at the Museum starting November 2019. We are excited to watch the project develop.


Get more information about upcoming Oral History Workshops on our events calendar


  •  July 27, 2019, featuring guest, Murray K. Lee (historian, WWII Veteran, career civil servant, and advocate for Chinese-American Veterans in San Diego).
  • August 31, 2019, featuring guests Dr. Alexander Chuang and Agnes Chen (engineer and medical researcher, who both became involved with the Chinese Historical Society, starting in 1987, and who helped to organize the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum Planning and Management Committee in 1992 to raise funds for relocating and renovating the Mission church building at its current site)
  • September 28, 2019featuring guest, Tom Hom (civic, business and community leader in San Diego, who has played an important role advocating for the protection of structures that are significant to the history of the local Chinese American community).
  • November 10, 2019 (10 a.m. to 12 p.m.), featuring guest, Amie Lee Garapich (long-term resident of San Diego and docent for the Asian-Pacific Historic District walking tour, hosted each month at the Museum).  Through an oral history interview, Amie would like to share anecdotes from her participation in activities in the historic San Diego Chinatown during her childhood, making note of the changes that she’s witnessed through the years.
  • November 10, 2019 (4 p.m to 6 p.m., BY APPOINTMENT ONLY), featuring guest, Peter D. Chu (attorney at law, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association), who will speak to the history of the CCBA in San Diego.

Saturday, November 30, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Project unveiling and reception

On Saturday, November 30, we will welcome all current phase project interviewees and their families and guests to a public reception at the Pei Chen Liu and Tsun-Nien Chang Library in the Museum’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension (328 J Street), where Museum staff will share an overview of the oral history project at the San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum.

At 12 p.m., a project conversation will be led by SDCHM Executive Director, Juliana Gay, with Project Coordinator, Elizabeth Hensley Chaney (SDCHM Grant Writer).  Through this talk, we’ll present on a history of community interview projects at the Museum, also sharing information about an ongoing oral history program at the SDCHM, where Museum researchers, facilities, and equipment are made available to community members by request and through periodic public workshops at the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension.

Light refreshments will be served.


  • FREE for Museum members, as well as for community members who’ve participated in project interview workshops and their guests
  • $5 admission fee for members of the general public (purchase of admission also includes free access to the Museum’s main site at 404 Third Avenue, in addition to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension, where the reception will be held)

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit

The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, (particularly by new and/or underserved audiences), and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy. The $3,665 received from California Humanities will go toward the purchase of equipment and supplies for project workshop sessions.  

Some support was also received from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, through its Community Enhancement Program, for FY19-20.  Thank you to District 1 Supervisor, Greg Cox, and to District 4 Supervisor, Nathan Fletcher, for your recommendations!

Additional support will be needed to fund staff time dedicated to the project. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this project, you may do so online (using the “Donate” link to the left of this text), via the phone (619-338-9888) or by mail (404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101).

Our Tax Identification Number is: 33-0179740.