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Down to the Countryside Movement Collection

Identifier: MS-1411

  • Staff Only


The collection contains letters, photographs, diary pages, cerificates, ephemera, a painting and a woodcut print and newspapers from 10 individuals documenting the large scale relocation and reeducation program directed at Chinese youth known as the 'down to the countryside' movement. Between 1968 and 1978, an estimated 17 million young people between the ages of 15 and 23 were relocated from their homes and families in China's urban centers to remote villages and border regions to work. These young people have been given many names, including "rusticated youth," "sent-down youth," "educated youth," and the "lost generation."By the late 1970s, the rustication movement was dismantled but the impact of the movement is still being discussed. Many believe that a generation was lost, having no opportunities for education or job development during a critical period of their lives. Others claim the experience was empowering, teaching lessons of empathy for rural laborers, resilience, and appreciation for cultural complexity. Today, many of China's top leaders, including President Xi Jinping, were among the rusticated youth. The collection has been digitized by the Dartmouth College Library and can be found at:


  • 1969 - 1995
  • Majority of material found within 1969 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright on this material has not been evaluated. You are free to use this material in any way that is permitted by copyright that applies to your use.


2.5 linear ft. (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Part of the Rauner Library Archives and Manuscripts Repository

6065 Webster Hall
Hanover NH 03755 USA

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