The C.Y. Lee collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and printed material.
Manuscripts for books by Lee in the collection include The Virgin Market (Doubleday, 1964); China Saga (Wiedenfeld and Nicholson, 1987); The Second Son of Heaven(Morrow, 1990); and Treasure Hunter (unpublished).
Other manuscripts by Lee include eight scripts for Radio Free Asia; a screenplay adaptation of the book Lover’s Point; and an article titled “Cheongsam.”
Correspondence in the collection includes letters to and from various individuals, dating from the mid-1940s to 1987. Notable correspondents include Gene Kelly, Keye Luke, Arabella Hong, Groucho Marx, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, William Saroyan, Pat Suzuki, and James Wong Howe.
Printed material in the collection includes several items regarding the musical Flower Drum Song, based on the book of the same name by Lee. These includes programs, reviews, and newspaper clippings. Also present are several issues of The Asian Studentnewspaper, dating from 1971 to 1978; and several issues of The New Yorker from 1958, containing Lee’s series of stories about “The Sawbwa.”
Legal material in the collection includes a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox studios (Sep. 1958); a contract for Lover’s Point (Aug. 1959); and several items regarding Lee’s immigration and naturalization status and his attempts to stay and work in the United States.