Herold J. Wiens publications on the “Shu Tao”


Fengxian Section from LOC Scroll

This page collects material developed by or described by Prof Herold J. Wiens. Prof. Wiens was a well known China scholar and geographer and published comprehensive material on the Shu Roads in his Thesis and a paper in 1949.


In particular, Prof. Wiens studied a scroll held by the US Library of Congress called “Shan jing shu dao tu” / “Map of the Route from Shaanxi to Sichuan. ” An example of one section is shown to the left.


The complete piece is a large scroll map (31 cm by 1672 cm) of the route from Shaanxi to the Sichuan border in the Qing period. Place names are carefully written and clear. More can be found, including quick looks of the sections of the scroll in this website at: A Route Map for the Main Road from Baoji to the Sichuan Border in the Qing Period




Herold J. Wiens was a US Professor of Geography who published widely and in particular had a special affinity with China and the Shu Roads. There is a collection of materials originally belonging to Herold J. Wiens in the US Library of Congress ( US Library of Congress). With that collection is found the following brief biography:


“Herold J. Wiens was born in Shanghang, Fukien (Fujian) Province (China) on Dec. 26, 1912. His ancestors were Mennonites from the Netherlands. Mennonite migration brought the Wiens family to Russia, to the United States and then to China in 1910.

Herold Wiens was educated and lived in China until he was fourteen years old at which time his family moved to Reedley, California. During his formative years in China, Wiens developed a knowledge of Chinese culture, and became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and the Hakka dialect. He attended Reedley High School where he graduated in 1931. He received his undergraduate college education at the University of California (Berkeley). In 1936, Wiens returned to China for advanced study and research at Yenching University in Beijing. There he studied with several of most noted China specialists from the United States. Before returning to the United States in 1940, Wiens worked at the U.S. Embassy in Hankou and Chungking for two years. During World War II he worked in the American Embassy in Chongqing, returning to the United States in 1946. His war-time correspondence and reports gave vivid accounts of the bombing and devastation in war-time China.

Wiens began graduate school in 1946 at the University of Michigan and completed M.A. and PhD programs, graduating in 1949. His celebrated academic career included a nineteen year tenure at Yale University, three years at the University of Hawaii, and one year at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. He was awarded Fulbright Fellowships twice, once in 1961 and again in 1964, and he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He was one of the most accomplished China geographers of his generation and he educated many young scholars at the three universities where he taught. Professor Wiens died on September 15, 1971. Herold Wiens’ biography can be found in Adina Wiens Robinson, China Beckoning (Oakland, Calif.:Positive Press, 1991); and Hao-jan Chu, “Biography of Herold J. Wiens,” in Biographical Literature, 19:6 (December, 1971), Taipei, Taiwan.”




Section from Liuba Fangzhi

Title: “The Shu Tao or Road to Szechwan”

Author: Herold J. Wiens

Source: Geographical Review, Vol. 39 No 4 (Oct., 1949), pp. 584-604.

Published by: American Geographical Society

Source URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/210674

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/210674


PDF File s also available here (2.2 MBytes)


Footnote to the paper (in 1949) says: “Dr. Wiens is an assistant professor in foreign-area studies at Yale University. This article is from his doctoral thesis. He has spent 18 years of residence, travel, and study in China, where he was born.”



Wudingguan Section from LOC Scroll

PhD Thesis (English)


“The Shu Tao or the Road to Szechuan: A study of the development and significance of Shensi-Szechuan road communication in West China.”


PhD Thesis by Herold Wiens, submitted in August, 1948 and granted in 1949.


PDF File available (warning … 25 Mbytes ) (see suggestion below)


Thesis obtained from “Digital Dissertations” through ProQuest Inc. The Thesis is Copyright material and its use should meet the requirements of its provision.


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