Oral Histories

Interview of Richard Rudolph

UCLA professor of Chinese literature and archaeology.
Subtitle:
Creating an Oriental Languages Department and Library
Topic:
UCLA and University of California History
UCLA Faculty
Interviewer:
Klein, Kenneth D.
Interviewee:
Rudolph, Richard
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Language:
English
Copyright:
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Abstract:
Enters University of California, Berkeley, as a premed student; takes a Chinese language course from Peter Alexis Boodberg; decides to go into graduate work in Chinese; Berkeley's emphasis on classical Chinese to the detriment of the spoken language; memories of Ferdinand Diedrich Lessing; Rudolph is selected to assist H. G. Creel at the University of Chicago; faculty and staff in the Chinese program at Chicago; faculty and staff in the Japanese program at Berkeley; Boodberg's criticism of Creel's article; Rudolph finishes his Ph.D. at Berkeley; works as a research associate with Lessing; becomes head of the Chinese section in the Department of Navy Language School at the University of Colorado in Boulder; appointed assistant professor at the University of Toronto; writes various articles; moves to UCLA to start Chinese program; difficulties of being chairman of the newly founded UCLA Department of Oriental Languages; sets off for China on a Fulbright scholarship; suitcase confiscated and sent back to the United States; people in Asian studies in the Los Angeles area in the late 1940s; arrives in China; American and European scholars in Beijing; dilapidation of the Forbidden City in Beijing; buying books in Beijing; decides to stay in China despite embassy warnings that he should leave; visits Han cliff tombs; book buying in Ch'engtu; alarm and unrest in anticipation of a communist takeover of Ch'engtu; problems connected with the devaluation of Chinese currency; Rudolph visits a mosque in Ch'ing-hai containing illuminated Arabic manuscripts; Societatis Verbi Divini (SVD) priests' desire to remove their neolithic pots from Sining before the communists arrive; Sining; decision against establishing a Korean program at UCLA; visit with SVD priests in Lanchou; Governor Ma Pu-fang; buying books in Japan; SVD priests come from Japan to UCLA with their library; Rudolph offers Lao Kan a full-time position at UCLA; Rudolph's activities since retirement and his involvement in cataloging his collections.