The origins of USC Library's Chinese Collection can be traced back to the formation of the Von KleinSmid Library of World Affairs in 1929, at a time when Chinese studies had only been established at a handful of American universities. By 1944, there were little more than 600 books in Chinese. Rapid growth began after World War II, as interest in East Asia generated a sharp increase in the study of China nationwide.
Several notable donations have combined to comprise a core collection of Chinese materials: the Theodore Hsi En Chen Collection, the Peter M. Suski Collection, the Tam Kai Chung Collection and, most recently, the Tse Tsung Chow Collection (in progress). Together they help to form a solid collection in the Chinese language for the study of a broad range of social sciences and humanities.