A friend introduced Paul Fonoroff to potential partners at UC Berkeley, including Peter Zhou, Assistant University Librarian and Director of C. V. Starr East Asian Library. “I began to see there were so many connections with Berkeley,” says Fonoroff. “It almost seemed like a fated thing.” In fact, Professor Andrew F. Jones, who teaches modern Chinese literature and media culture, did research in Fonoroff’s Hong Kong apartment while working on his dissertation. “I decided on Berkeley because Berkeley is very strong in Chinese studies,” Fonoroff explains. “It has a film studies program, there’s the Pacific Film Archive and the Berkeley Art Museum. So here were venues where you could not only show the films, but display the posters. And, of course, this wonderful Library.”
The Fonoroff collection is now the largest and most comprehensive Chinese film studies collection in North America. It covers many different periods and many different genres — providing endless opportunities for discovery for Berkeley students and scholars throughout the world, including Paul Fonoroff himself. “I want to have a relationship with this collection for the rest of my life,” Fonoroff says. “I want to continue using it forever.”
View the Fonoroff Collection online exhibit.