Category Archives: Digitisation

'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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Winter in black and white

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The Hangchow Bore

The Qiantang River and Hangchow (Hangzhou) Bay have long attracted visitors to witness the roaring tidal bore – the largest in the world.  This swirling wall of water travels at up to 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles an hour) … Continue reading

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A photographer’s view

The great photographer Diane Arbus once observed that ‘a photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.’  NA07-107 is the very picture of such secretive photography, if only because it is such … Continue reading

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Taikoo ships and buildings

For readers interested in the photographs of shipping that can be found in the collections, notably those of G. Warren Swire, or the architectural history of the treaty ports, there are two new sites to investigate. John Swire & Sons … Continue reading

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A game of two halves

Football can also bring photograph collections together.  In 2008, an enigmatic album of photos collected by Harold Edwards Peck, a policeman in the Shanghai Municipal Police, was lent to the Historical Photographs of China project and digitised.   Two years later, … Continue reading

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A hunting we will go

Incidental mention of the Shanghai Paper Hunt suggests a new post. Here are two members of the Hunt in action. The Shanghai Paper Hunt Club dated is foundation to December 1863, but as its history, published in 1930, noted, there … Continue reading

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Grooved rocks at a sharp turn in the Yangtze River, 1914

Close up photographs of Yangtze River trackers at work pulling boats along the river and through rapids, are scarce, perhaps because the men often worked naked.  Nevertheless, decorum permitted an interesting detail (El01-49), as recorded in the caption in the … Continue reading

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C is for Changsha

A snapshot of a busy thoroughfare in Changsha, capital of Hunan province. The men are not sporting the ‘queue’, so this is a post-1911 shot, and the flat cap on the left dates it perhaps to the 1920s at least. … Continue reading

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