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Tsuen-hsuin "TH" Tsien


1909 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Tsuen-hsuin "TH" Tsien Obituary
Tsien, Tsuen-hsuin "T.H." Curator Emeritus of the East Asian Collection of the Joseph Regenstein Library and Professor Emeritus of Far Eastern Languages and Civilizations (now East Asian Languages and Civilizations) of the University of Chicago, passed away in Chicago, April 9, 2015, at the age of 105. T.H. lived a long and extraordinarily full life. He liked to say that he was born under the last emperor of China, in 1909, in Taixian, Jiangsu, China. T.H. Tsien was the most influential Chinese librarian in America. Not only did he develop one of the country's greatest East Asian libraries at the University of Chicago, but he also trained a generation of students for East Asian libraries around the country including those who went on to head the East Asian libraries at Harvard and Princeton. In addition, his published scholarship continues to have a profound influence on the fields of Chinese bibliography, paleography, and science and technology. T.H. Tsien has now rejoined his beloved wife, Wen-ching Hsu, who was one of the first instructors of Chinese at the University; and his eldest daughter, Ginger, both of whom passed away in 2008. He is survived by two other daughters, Mary Tsien Dunkel (and husband, Alexander Dunkel) and Gloria Tsien; as well as by his nephew, Xiaowen Qian, Assistant to the Curator for the East Asian Collection of the Regenstein Library; wife, Peng Zhang; grandnephew, Ziang; nephew, Victor Tsien; wife, Julia; grandnephew, Benjamin; stepgrandchildren, Tania Capin and Bruce Dunkel. He has established a legacy that will endure as long as scholars continue to value books. Visitation Wednesday 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. (Wake Service 6:00 p.m.) at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home, 203 S. Marion St., Oak Park. Private interment, Concordia Cemetery, Forest Park, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hyde Park Christian Reformed Church, (In memory of Prof. T. H. Tsien) 5144 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615 or The University of Chicago Library, East Asian Collections or The University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies are appreciated.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Apr. 12, 2015
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