Collection ID: FA065

Collection context


Scope and Content:

The China Medical Board, Inc. Collection, 1914-1971, consists almost exclusively of material dealing with the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), 1918-1951. The Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) appears to have sent to its financial supporters, first the China Medical Board and then the China Medical Board, Inc., much of its correspondence, memos and reports, to keep those in New York informed as to what was going on in China. As the ownership of the buildings and grounds of the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) was transferred from the CMB to the CMB, Inc., many records were also transferred. This accounts for many pre-1928 documents found in the files.

Headings that may be of interest to the researcher: Administrative Council China Medical Board - Annual Report - Diary - History China Medical Board, Inc. - Annual Report Departments, listed by name Anatomy Bacteriology Biochemistry Biology Chemistry Dentistry Dermatology Dietary Field Studies Gynecology Health Station Hospital Library Medicine Neurology Nurses Ophthalmology Otology Parasitology Pathology Pediatrics Pharmacology Pharmacy Physics Physiology Radiology Religion Surgery Director - PUMC - Annual Report Documents of Record Eggleston, M. K. - Interviews Greene, R. S. - Diary - Interviews Governing Council Houghton, H. S. - Diary Peking Union Medical College - History Political Situation Publications - Weekly Calendar/News Bulletin Rockefeller Foundation Trustees - Minutes Photographs can be found in the series that follows the folder listing.

Biographical / Historical:

The China Medical Board, Inc. traces its origin to the unincorporated China Medical Board, which was created in 1914 as a division of the Rockefeller Foundation to care for the developing interests of the foundation in China (see Rockefeller Foundation Archives, Record Group 4). In 1915, the Rockefeller Foundation purchased and assumed support of the Union Medical College in Peking, which had been founded in 1906 by a group of Protestant missionaries. The institution was renamed the Peking Union Medical College (at times referred to as the Peiping Union Medical College). Its reconstruction, development and support gradually became the primary, though not the exclusive, interest of the China Medical Board. At formal dedication ceremonies held in Peking in 1921, the objectives of the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) were set forth in a speech delivered by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. These can be summarized as follows:

1. To develop in China a medical school and hospital comparable with that of the leading institutions of Western civilization and to offer thorough training in scientific medicine.

2. To stimulate the creation of similar institutions in various parts of China.

3. To provide graduate instruction in the form of short courses in subjects for which the need is great.

4. To prosecute research, for the influence it may exert upon standards and methods of medical education, the training of teachers and leaders, and the solution of problems of disease in China.

5. To permeate the work of the institution with the finest idealism and to interpret to China the best of the West, not only in medical science but in mental development and spiritual culture.

6. To make permanent on Chinese soil the best in scientific medicine that the world can offer, with the realization that what it may have to offer will be of little avail to the Chinese people until it is taken over by them and becomes a part of the national life. Toward this end, to create in the future a faculty of whom most, if not all, are Chinese and a Board of Trustees similarly constituted.

In 1928, the China Medical Board was incorporated under the Membership Corporations Law of the State of New York. Its certificate of incorporation provided that "the purposes of which it is formed are exclusively charitable, educational and scientific and are to extend financial support to the Peking Union Medical College and/or like institutions in the Far East or in the United States of America." The Rockefeller Foundation transferred to the new organization the ownership of the land and buildings occupied by the Peking Union Medical College and endowed it with the sum of $12,000,000, agreeing to provide, from time to time, additional grants toward the college budget. Until the outbreak of the war with Japan in 1941, the CMB, Inc. devoted its entire income to the support of the College.

While the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) was occupied by the Japanese, the CMB, Inc. carried on a program of aid to medical institutions in unoccupied China. At the same time, it assisted undergraduate students of the College to continue their studies elsewhere and helped maintain the College nursing school in Chengtu.

The Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) was recovered from the Japanese at the close of the war, but was then used as the Executive Headquarters of General Marshall's Peace Commission until April 1947. At this time the CMB, Inc. resumed its annual grant to the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC). By May 1948, the medical school, nursing school and the hospital were once again in operation, though not at the same level as before the war. In January 1951 the Peking Union Medical College was nationalized by the People's Republic of China.

Since funds could no longer be sent to the Peking Union Medical College (PUMC) or to the mainland, the China Medical Board, Inc. embarked on a new program and enlarged its field within the geographical limits permitted by its charter. Under this program, the CMB, Inc. provides assistance to medical, public health and nursing schools in many Far Eastern countries, and to a lesser degree, to medical, public health and nursing schools in the United States.

Processing information:

Processing Level 3: Standard Processing. All material is available in acid free manuscript boxes and folders.


The collection is arranged alphabetically, as used by the office staff of the CMB, Inc. The title of the file can be the name of a person, an office, an organization or a subject. The office personnel gave a mark-up to each piece of correspondence to indicate where a particular letter or report would be filed. Mark-ups indicate two things: first, under what file the item should be placed, and second, whether the item was written by, sent to or about a specific person or organization. For example: Health Station - Chu, C. K. Health Station is the file heading and the name Chu shows the item to be either written by, sent to or about Mr. Chu). In the following, when a mark-up is referred to, it will mean the second part, by, to or about X. Where a mark-up has appeared in a file, it has been listed following the main entry to help locate specific material. For instance, Mr. Greene's letters might have been scattered by topic and not grouped in his file. His name, therefore, will appear after many topic headings to indicate that the material by, to or about him is located in that file.

If, after the file heading, there are inclusive dates, and the mark-ups are listed without dates, this means that the file is arranged chronologically. If, after the file heading, there are no dates, the mark-ups will have inclusive dates following them. This indicates that the file is arranged alphabetically by person and then chronologically within each person's section. If, however, inclusive dates follow both the file heading and the mark-up, this means that there is first a general section, where no person or organization was listed after the file heading and this is arranged chronologically. The remainder of the file will then be arranged alphabetically by mark-up and chronologically within each individual section.

Example - Chronological Listing

Field Studies - Anthropology, 1920-1945: Director; Greene; Houghton; Newsweek Magazine; Pei; Weidenreich;

Example - Alphabetical Listing

Neurology - Staff: Agos, I. H., 1922-1925; Alexander, L. 1932-1934; Burwell, A., 1924-1925; Chao, Pao-hsun, 1949; Chao, Yi-cheng, 1932; Cheng, (Yu-lin) Leslie, 1927

A series of China Medical Board, Inc. photographs follows the folder listing.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



Open for research with select materials restricted as noted. Brittle or damaged items are available at the discretion of RAC.


Reproduction/duplication of archival items is routinely provided in accordance with "fair use." If the RAC does not hold copyright for an archival collection, or items within a collection, it is the user's responsibility to contact the copyright holder, or make a fair effort to do so, prior to publication.

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