Boris Bresler was born in 1918 and raised in a Russian émigré Jewish community in Harbin, China. He immigrated to the United States in 1937 and in 1946 joined the faculty in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Following his retirement from the University he established Benmir Books, a small publishing house specializing in translations, reprints, and original works of high quality on Jewish themes. He also translated Russian prose and poetry into English.
The collection consists primarily of papers documenting Bresler's research on Jews in China. Also included is correspondence, materials relating to his imprint Benmir Books, translations and writings.