Featured

The Market Street Chinatown as it appeared ca. 1880. Photograph by Andrew P. Hill. History San José collections.

Welcome to the web site for the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project, a research and education program developed to catalog, analyze, report, and curate a remarkable collection of artifacts that were excavated in 1985-1988. Once located at the intersections of Market and San Fernando Streets in downtown San José, California, the Market Street Chinatown was founded in the 1860s and occupied until it was burned in an arson fire in 1887. A century later, the site of the Market Street Chinatown was chosen for urban redevelopment, including the construction of the Fairmont Hotel and the Silicon Valley Financial Center. The City of San José Redevelopment Agency contracted Archaeological Resource Service to monitor construction activities and conduct excavations at the site. After preliminary analysis, the artifacts from the site were boxed and put in storage at a warehouse that was inaccessible to researchers and to the public. The primary goal of this project is to catalog and analyze the collection so they can once again be used for research and educational programs.

The material on this website allows you to follow our progress and to access the preliminary data we have collected. Technical Reports and Progress Reports can be accessed through links on the right. Other published articles related to this project are listed in our Project Bibliography. We also include regular project updates, most written by students involved in the project, so you can become a “virtual participant” this work. We update the site regularly to share our progress with you, and you can post comments, questions, and other ideas by clicking on the “discussion” link at the end of each posting. To contact us directly, please email Professor Barbara Voss (Principal Investigator) or Megan Kane (collection manager).

If you are interested in receiving information about the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project and our public events, please email Megan S. Kane (mskane at stanford dot edu).

There Was a Chinatown Here – a new digital exhibit

The Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project is very pleased to announce our new digital exhibit, There Was a Chinatown Here.

There Was a Chinatown Here logo

The exhibit tells the story of San Jose’s historic Chinese community through artifacts, stories, and videos. This new website is the result of the joint efforts of Stanford archaeologists and members of Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.

In addition to creating an on-line venue for interpreting this important chapter of San Jose’s history, the digital exhibit is linked through QR codes to artifact displays in the Chinese American Historical Museum. Visitors can scan the QR codes with their smartphone or tablet to be instantly linked to the videos, photographs, and stories in the digital exhibit.

Please, visit our new online exhibit, There Was a Chinatown Here.