New Exhibit Centers Chinese American Women's History


Herstory On View: The Legal History of Chinese American Women (1912-2020) is on view in the Chinese Center from March 19 to June 30 


PRESS CONFERENCE: April 6, 2022, 10 a.m., San Francisco Main Library, Chinese Center, 3rd Floor, 100 Larkin Street. RSVP to

San Francisco, March 9, 2022 - The Chinese Center at San Francisco Main Library showcases an exhibit with a rare and unusual look at the history of Chinese women in the U.S. Starting in 1848, many Chinese women immigrated to America to pursue a better life, gain personal freedom and further their education. For 165 years, they endured exclusion laws and discrimination. They struggled in the American legal system, fighting for the right to immigrate, live with dignity, receive a public-school education and marry freely. Curated by Dr. Chang C. Chen, Herstory On View: The Legal History of Chinese American Women (1912-2020) highlights the ordinary women who fought for their rights, and in doing so, helped shape a new world for Chinese American women in San Francisco and in the rest of the country.  

On April 6 at 10 a.m., the public is invited to an opening event with Dr. Chen and other leaders from the Chinese American community.  

About Dr. Chang C. Chen and the HERstory Project  
Dr. Chen grew up in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States 44 years ago to pursue her graduate studies. After obtaining her Ph. D in biochemistry from Rutgers University and J.D. from Columbia University Law School, she launched an illustrious legal career spanning 25 years. She was elected to be a Taiwan Senator and hosted four television shows. During the 1990s, her most popular program Chang C. Chen Talking Law on Star-TV in Hong Kong elevated her to celebrity status—still rare for a female attorney in Taiwan. Today, Dr. Chen continues to practice law in California and serves as a legal consultant in China and Taiwan.  

While Dr. Chen has authored more than 50 books in Chinese, covering topics ranging from law to marriage, Herstory: The Legal History of Chinese American Women (1852-2012) was her first book in English. Three years in the making, the book is the culmination of her extensive research for her Herstory On View exhibit and its 2021 sequel exhibition and book Herstory 2, which covers the periods of 1912-2020. Dr. Chen credits a team of volunteers and designers from the Chinese American community for helping her realize this project, including: Mingguo Li, Doris Tseng, Lotus Fong, the late Jeff Adachi, Ted Fang and Shan Shan Zhou, to name a few.  

What started as a small personal project has grown into an international sensation. Libraries and museums around the globe from Taiwan, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hawaii, New York and other major cities have presented the show. When she started this project, a search in the index of the Library of Congress for the phrase “Chinese American Women” yielded not a single result. Now, thanks to her work, there are thousands of entries.  


WHAT: Dr. Chen will be joined by esteemed members of the local Chinese American community for the opening of Herstory On View: The Legal History of Chinese American Women (1912-2020). Guests include publisher and philanthropist Florence Fang, retired judges of the Superior Court of San Francisco Julie Tang and Lilian Sing and social activist Helen Liu. This event is free and open to the public.  

WHEN: April 6, 10 a.m. 

WHERE: Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, Chinese Center, 3rd Floor  

DAY OF PRESS CONTACT: Jaime Wong -, 415-214-2279 

About San Francisco Public Library 
San Francisco Public Library is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for our diverse community. The library system is made up of 27 neighborhood branches, the San Francisco Main Library at Civic Center and four bookmobiles. To learn more, please visit and follow on Twitter @SFPublicLibrary and on Instagram @sfpubliclibrary.

Kate Patterson, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4252 /

三月 9, 2022