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Ronyoung Kim and Richard Hahn papers

Identifier: 3010

Scope and Contents

The Ronyoung Kim and Richard Hahn papers, 1914-2000, consist of biographical materials, correspondence, short stories, poems, notes, academic essays, school materials, printed articles, newspaper clippings and photographs created and collected by Ronyoung Kim during her life and Richard S. Hahn after her death.

The majority of the material is comprised of numerous drafts, manuscripts, and two published editions of the novel "Clay Walls", correspondence to and from publishing houses, editors, and literary agents regarding the publication of "Clay Walls" and other short stories, as well as the evolution of Kim's writing process. Included among these materials are research notes, drafts and typescripts of essays (both personal and academic), short stories, poems and plays by Kim as well as writings by other individuals whom influenced her work.

The collection also includes papers pertaining to Richard Hahn's medical career and Gloria Hahn's academic and museum docent work, as well as personal correspondence, family photographs, and a small series of biographical materials featuring resumes, awards, and other personal documents.


  • 1914 - 2000


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Department of the East Asian Library at Permission for publication is given on behalf of the East Asian 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.

Biographical Note

Born Gloria Jane Kim on March 28, 1926 in Los Angeles, Kim was the daughter of Korean immigrants and a Korean American writer; she married Richard S. Hahn, a heart surgeon, at the age of age 19. The two lived in Belvedere and had four children.

After her children graduated from college, Kim went back to school where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Far Eastern Art and Culture at San Francisco State University. Additionally, she was a docent at the Asian Museum of Art in San Francisco.

Throughout her life, Kim wrote many poems, short stories and essays. Her first and only novel, “Clay Walls”, was the first major novel focusing on the experiences of Korean immigrants and Korean Americans in the United States. It was published by Second Chance Press: The Permanent Press in 1987, shortly before her death. Kim passed away on February 3, 1987, at the age of 60, after a lengthy battle with breast cancer.

Richard Hahn was retired as a thoracic surgeon prior to Kim's death. After her passing, Hahn continued with correspondence regarding his wife's writings as well as the collecting of articles relating to her life and works. In 1993, he began writing his own novels; one of these was a sequel to "Clay Walls".


21 Linear Feet (19 boxes)

Language of Materials




Ronyoung Kim was a Korean American author, best known for her novel "Clay Walls." Her husband, Richard Hahn, was a doctor and writer as well. This collection comprises primarily biographical materials, writings, academic papers, printed materials, photographs, and correspondence created and collected by both Ronyoung Kim and Richard Hahn, documenting Kim's personal life and professional career. It also contains correspondence and printed materials by and about Richard Hahn.


The collection is organized into the following six series: Biographical materials, Correspondence and letters, Writings and notes, Academic essays and materials, Printed materials, and Photographs. Arrangement within each series is chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Richard Hahn.

Related Archival Materials

Related materials pertaining to Ronyoung Kim can be found within USC's Korean-American Digital Archive in the form of oral histories, as part of the Korean American Museum Oral History Series subcollection.

Processing Information

The majority of materials were originally housed in numbered binders. The individual documents were removed from these binders, placed in folders, and given supplied titles and series by a prior archivist. It also appears some of the photographs were separated from their respective correspondence and placed in their own folders. Additionally, it is possible the prior Archivist combined the papers of Richard Hahn with Ronyoung Kim's.

Upon further review by the current archivist, it was noted that although the majority of the materials lacked original order by the creator(s), some items were initially grouped together chronologically. With this in mind, the collection was then rearranged chronologically with intellectual and physical order imposed (in the form of reorganizing into more clearly defined series and folder titles as well as the combining of like materials).

The chronological arrangement of each series shows both the writing process and professional career progression of Ronyoung Kim, as well as the span of her and Richard Hahn's personal life.

Finding aid for the Ronyoung Kim and Richard Hahn papers
Lindsay Long, Sarah Cassone
2017 December
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 August: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub: minimally accessioned, rehoused, and created container records (described under "Minimally processed material") after the Korean Heritage Library discovered additional unprocessed material during 2021.
  • 2021 October: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include a box of photographic slides donated by Melanie Hahn in 2020 (accrual no. 2020-001).
  • 2022 March: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include a video tape ("The Children of Zacapu") added to the collection from accrual no. 2022-001.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries East Asian Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1825 United States