Guide to the John Fryer Papers, [ca. 1861-1921]

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Guide to the John Fryer Papers, [ca. 1861-1921]

Collection number: BANC MSS C-B 968

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Encoded by:
Brooke Dykman Dockter
© 1997. The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: John Fryer Papers,
Date (inclusive): [ca. 1861-1921]
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 968
Origination: Fryer, John, 1839-1928
Extent: Number of containers: 1 box, 6 cartons
Repository: The Bancroft Library.
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Correspondence (including letters from George Davidson, Benjamin I. Wheeler and Charles W. Woodworth); MSS of his writings and lectures; lecture notes and course material; and clippings. relating to his study of China and the Chinese and to his career as professor of oriental languages and literature, University of California, Berkeley.
Languages Represented: English

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research. RESTRICTED Letterpress copies in Box1, use microfilm or published transcripts. UNARRANGED and UNAVAILABLE, Cartons 4-6.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Fryer papers, BANC MSS C-B 968, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


John Fryer was born in England in 1839. In 1860 he was graduated from St. James' School at Bristol. The following year he received his teachers certificate from Highbury College in London and was appointed principal of St. Paul's College at Hong Kong. From 1863 to 1865 he was professor of English at Tung-Wen College in Peking. He then became head of the new Anglo -Chinese School at Shanghai. During the period he also edited the first Chinese newspaper published in Shanghai.
In 1868 Fryer entered the service of the Chinese government as translator of scientific books into Chinese. In addition to his work he took an active interest in the many educational innovations that were carried on in China during this period. In 1884 he founded the Chinese Scientific Book Depot. This company, which he owned until 1911, printed and sold books on scientific subjects, and later, on general subjects also.
He left China in 1896 to accept the position of first Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature at the University of California at Berkeley but visited China yearly to oversee his business interests and in 1911 he founded the Institute for the Chinese Blind at Shanghai. Under his direction the Department of Oriental Languages was expanded and his active interest in the department and in Chinese student affairs continued after his retirement in 1914. He also gave illustrated lectures on China and the Chinese and was a member of the Philological Society, Hung Tao Society, and president of the Oriental Institute of California. Professor Fryer died in 1928.

Scope and Content

The John Fryer papers were transferred to the Manuscripts Division from the University Archives in 1965 and relate mainly to his studies and writings on China and the Chinese and to his professorship.
A key to arrangement follows.