Stories and Voices
from L.A. Chinatown

If I were to see a woman walking down the street and she said 'hello', I would say, '姨姨你好 (Yiyi neihou)' and 'yiyi' means aunt. This could be a complete stranger, and I would still call her aunt. I think that's a special thing about Chinatown."

– Cindy Yan

Am I worried about the future of Chinatown? I'm concerned about people being displaced and forced out. But I'm also concerned about loss of historic culture and how our history can be preserved."

- Eugene Moy

Los Angeles Chinatown is a place layered with history. From the leaders who envisioned and created a New Chinatown in 1938–after the demolition of Old Chinatown to make way for Union Station–to the entrepreneurs and small business owners who earn their livelihood here today, to the generations of families that have called this neighborhood home, there are countless stories of vision and opportunity, tradition and community, exclusion and resilience.

Stories and Voices from L.A. Chinatown is the first in the series Archive Alive, a new collaboration between The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens; the Library Foundation of Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles Public Library. Archive Alive activates historic photographs, documents, and maps drawn from the Huntington’s and LAPL’s vast collections through online exhibitions, site-specific installations and displays, and interviews with community members, whose personal reflections and connections bring the archives to life. You can explore these materials by theme below.

We hope these windows into the past will inspire a new appreciation for the unique appeal of Chinatown, and for the challenges that the community has met historically and continues to face today.