Center for Asian American Studies
Center for Asian American Studies

Completion of the Oldest Asian American Archive at the Austin History Center

Mon, December 8, 2008

The Austin History Center is proud to announce that staff have completed processing the Sing Family Papers (AR.2008.002), the first archive collected under the Asian American Neighborhood Liaison program, and it is now available to researchers. The goal of this program is to collect and preserve historical documents, photos, and records related to Asian Americans and their history in Austin.

Items in the Sing Family Papers were donated by Mary Frances Aguallo, granddaughter of Joe Sing, a Chinese immigrant who came through Louisiana in 1897 and settled in Austin. Sing owned Hong Lee Laundry on 5th Street and had 4 children with his wife, Francis Moreno. This collection includes correspondence with relatives and business contacts, family photos, business receipts, advertisements, and a book from China. The collection includes the oldest Asian American documents in the archives. The finding aid with a description of these items is available through the Texas Archival Resources Online website.

“This is a landmark moment for the neighborhood liaison program,” says AHC’s Director, Mike Miller. “Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing populations in Austin, but their history here goes back well over a hundred years. It is important that this history is preserved so it becomes part of the greater Austin story.”

Esther Chung, the Asian American Neighborhood Liaison, states, “The Sing Family Papers is significant because it provides a glimpse into the lesser known history of early Asian residents in Austin. Also, this collection will help stress the importance of preservation to the current Asian American community.”

To learn more about Joe Sing and other Asian Americans in Austin, visit the Austin History Center at 810 Guadalupe St, or contact Esther Chung, Neighborhood Liaison at or 512-974-7394 or visit our website.

Bookmark and Share