Patches for a Canton panorama

Many thanks to all contributors to Visualising China, including the astute person who pointing out that the location recorded for UB01-14 (, below, was not quite accurate: Canton (Guangzhou) yes, Shamian Island no.

American Concession Grounds and Pearl River, Canton, University of Bristol collection, UB01-14

The relevant image entry details have now been corrected on Historical Photographs of China (, and this information will appear on Visualising China in due course, after harvesting.

This commentator also noted that John Thomson (, the great pioneer China photographer, had taken a photograph from the same tall building as in UB01-14.  Thomson’s photograph, made maybe 10-20 years before UB01-14, was reproduced in his marvellous book ‘China and Its People’ (1873), Vol 1, Plate XVI’:

John Thomson: China and Its People (1873), Vol 1, Plate XVI

Thomson’s photograph shows the buildings occupied by Messrs Russell & Co and by Messrs Smith Archer in the ‘American Concession Grounds’, as well as the wall around these properties.  See the right hand side of Thomson’s photograph for the ‘overlap’ between his photograph and UB01-14.  There must be other extant photographs of Canton, as seen from this or nearby vantage points?

Many thanks to colleagues in Special Collections, University of Bristol Library (, who had alerted the Historical Photographs of China project to the old Chinese photographs (prefix UB01-) in an album containing mostly Japanese photographs, held in the University archive.

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