Category Archives: Digitisation

Lucky Eights: 8888 photographs now online

The project just posted its 8,888th photograph. 8 is an auspicious number in Chinese culture because of its closeness in sound to the word for wealth/fortune across a number of dialects. Companies compete for telephone numbers with multiple eights, and … Continue reading

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Art imitates art

One of the images (on the right) in Historical Photographs of China, features the same compositional idea as Angus McBean’s photograph (below) of the theatre designer and producer William Chappell (1907-1994) – juggling heads.  This brought to mind Geoff Dyer’s The Ongoing … Continue reading

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Who took the photograph, reprised?

BL-n087 is a photograph of a photographer taking a photograph.  You may be able to identify the photographer at work, if you recognise the photograph he probably took here: a scene including a human corpse and battle debris – the … Continue reading

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Magical pagodas

A guest blog from Dr Tehyun Ma: This rather magical photo, taken by postal official Oliver Hulme around the turn of the century, is one of my favourites. Looking at the structure, which was probably in the vicinity of Hebei, … Continue reading

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Smiles and coracles, 1938

This snapshot of (I think) some boatside begging, was taken or acquired by Edgar Taylor, who served in the British Royal Navy, and was possibly taken at Hankow (Hankou, Wuhan) on the Yangzi. We do not know much about the … Continue reading

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Graduation!

The University of Bristol this week held its first graduation cemeremony in China. Two hundred students attended the ceremony in Beijing, and it is planned that this event will be held every two years. To mark the occasion here is … Continue reading

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Volunteers

It is 170 years ago this week that the Shanghai Volunteer Corps was first established. The SVC, as it was known, became a fixture of life in the International Settlement in the city from 1870-1942, and I have blogged a … Continue reading

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Last years of the comprador/e

The latest Wikileaks release has some interesting China material. My eye was caught by a practical note dated 24 March 1973 from the US Consulate in Hong Kong to the State Department, forwarding practical information about “administrative and other procedures … Continue reading

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‘Picturing China’ on display in Beijing

On Thursday 21st March, the British ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood CMG, opened an exhibition of a selection of the project’s photographs, organised by the British Embassy and funded by Research Councils UK. There have been stories in China News … Continue reading

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Darwent’s Shanghai

We have been quiet recently, but busy, preparing a modest exhibition which responds to a favourite in our collections, the photographs of the Reverend Charles Ewart Darwent, minister of the Union Church Shanghai (新天安堂) from 1899-1919. As well as publishing … Continue reading

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