Austin History Center

David Chan Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Chan, David, 1927-2012
Title: David Chan Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1953-2009
Abstract: David Chan was a businessman in Austin, Texas who founded the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce in 1996. This collection contains materials predominately related to his business and civic contributions during the late 1990s and 2000s.
Identification: AR.2012.021
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Location: Archives Stacks, Oversized Archives
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78701

Biographical Note

David Kheng Gwan Chan was an entrepreneur and businessman who served as a co-founder and chairman of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce in 1996. He also was Vice President and Trustee Emeritus of the Austin Lyric Opera, on the Board of Trustees for the Long Center, Chairman and CEO of the U.S. Asian Chamber of Commerce. Chan created and managed several businesses in different parts of the world throughout his lifetime and received numerous awards for his civic and charitable contributions.

He was born on February 7, 1927 in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma) and grew up in various parts of Asia including Myanmar, Southern China, and Calcutta, India. He eventually decided to study in the United States and left Myanmar in 1946 arriving in San Francisco. He enrolled at Chaffey College and continued his studies at Stanford University graduating two years later with a degree in political science. Chan completed his coursework towards an economics PhD at the University of Virginia and began to work for Cargill, a global agricultural commodities company. He became their Far East representative based in Manila, Philippines, but returned to the United States to work at Cargill's headquarters in Minneapolis. He eventually began his own businesses that included grain production in Ghana, the export of manganese ore, solar projects, and vitamin distribution. He moved all over the world including the Bahamas, Belgium, Ghana, and finally, Austin, Texas in 1980. In Austin, he was an active civic leader petitioning for Asian American inclusion in City of Austin business development plans and programs and helping with outreach to encourage Asian American entrepreneurship. He died on March 3, 2012.

Scope and Contents

The David Chan papers contain newspaper clippings, event programs, photographs, and awards and certificates. The items highlight David Chan's civic contributions, his professional interest in growing Austin's transnational business ties with China, his advocacy for Asian American entrepreneurship as the Chairman of the Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce, and educational accomplishments.


Collection is arranged by material type.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Chan, David K.G., 1927-2012.
Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Austin (Tex.)--Economic conditions.
Asian Americans--Texas.
Asian Americans--Texas--Austin.
Asian American organizations--Texas--Austin.
Asian American business enterprises--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

AF Biography - Chan, David

AF Subject - Chamber of Commerce - Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce C2390 (7)

Separated Material

Relevant newspaper articles and wooden plaques were photocopied, and certificates were removed from frames. Originals and frames were removed from collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

David Chan Papers (AR.2012.021). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #:DO/2012/039

Donation Date: 2012

Processing Information

Final Processing and Finding Aid by Phonshia Nie and Jennifer Allen, September 2016

Detailed Description of the Collection

David Chan Papers

Box Folder
1 1 Awards and certificates, 1998-2009
Location FlatFile
qAR 057/001-002,033-036 Awards and certificates (oversized), 1953-1998
Box Folder
1 2 Photographs, 1990s-2000s
3 Clippings, 1985-2006
4-5 Programs and pamphlets, 1998-2007