Maxine Hong Kingston's China Men first got me interested in the story of the Transcontinental Railroad and the extraordinary Chinese workers who built the most treacherous parts of it.
Although tens of thousands of Chinese workers worked on the railroad between 1865 and 1869, not a single document created by any of these workers is known to have survived.
Now a group of reseachers based at Stanford have announced a search in the US and China for family papers created by the mostly migrant workers. It's called the "Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project."
I'm looking forward to hearing about what they get sent.