Tao Pai-chuan Papers
In November 2010, the Stanford East Asia Library received a donation of the diaries and personal documents of Pai-chuan Tao, a former advisor to the former Republic of China Presidents Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and member of the Control Yuan (監察院) (one of the five branches of the Republic of China government in Taiwan, an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government). Along with Tao’s personal papers, 33 volumes of his collected works, published by San min shu ju in Taiwan, are also included in this donation. Mr. Tao Pai-chuan was a well-respected political figure, an influential intellectual, a strong advocate for democratic reforms and a prolific writer on issues of social, legal and political significance in China.
Born in 1901 in an ancient city, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, Mr. Pai-chuan Tao graduated with dual degrees in literature and law from the University of Law, Shanghai. In 1934, he went to Harvard University to study law and politics. Following his return to China he published several dozen books on law, political system and international politics that introduced new ideas and significantly contributed to the evolution of China’s own political institutions. Additionally, Mr. Tao served on various positions in the government and Kuomintang (the Nationalist Party). Mr. Tao was widely respected and served four consecutive terms on the National Council prior to the National Government selecting him as a member of the Council during the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). At the Council, he also served as a representative of the Nationalist Party in consultation with leaders of other parties and political groups. Mr. Tao’s meritorious service at the National Council won recognition at the highest authority levels of the Nationalist Party. As a result, he was appointed Chief of The Central Weekly Magazine of the Nationalist Propaganda Department - he was later promoted to be Chief of the Central Daily News [the Nationalist Party’s opinion organization] and executive officer of the Youth Corps of the Three Principles of the People [a major branch of the Nationalist Party].
In 1946, following the conclusion of WWII, Mr. Tao resigned from the National Council and became a member of Shanghai Municipal Assembly. In 1947, he was selected as a member of the Control Yuan of the National Government. His service at the Control Yuan is often considered to be the most prominent throughout this public career. He handled several high-profile cases, including those of Premier Hung-chun Yu (俞鴻鈞), Chen Lei (雷震) and General Li-jen Sun (孫立人). In each case, he spoke out fearlessly for what he believed, regardless of the risks to his life and career. Mr. Tao’s courageous dedication to his principles earned him the epithet of Tao the Clear Sky.
In 1977, Mr. Tao resigned from the Control Yuan and was appointed “Presidential Advisor on National Policy”. He used his influence and writings to promote democracy and human rights, and provided strong leadership in Taiwan’s public opinion movement and considerably advanced freedom of speech in the region.
Mr. Pai-chuan Tao passed away in 2002 at the age of 101.
The materials donated to the East Asia Library include 18 notebook diaries from 1950 to 1996, correspondences, miscellaneous writings, and photos and documents of the memorial held in 2002. After the archive has been processed and a finding aid developed, it will be available for researchers to consult on site.
The East Asia Library is Stanford's primary East Asian-language collection, with over 680,000 volumes in the social sciences and humanities for all historical periods of China, Japan and Korea, and a number of special collections, including the Huang-Bernhardt Collection of Chinese Legal Documents and the Contemporary political personal archives and government documents of China. The library’s mission is to support research and teaching at Stanford University, develop its collection in Chinese, Japanese and Korean materials in both print and digital forms, and promote East-West collaboration and understanding.