Our collections vary in size, and many complement each other forming a wider body of materials. This page highlights some particular strengths. There are the extensive and distinctive portfolios of work created by diplomat and politician Fu Bingchang (傅秉 常 1895-1965) and by George Warren Swire (1883-1949). Then there are two sets of materials that came from contacts with the descendants of men who served in the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, and in the Shanghai Municipal Police. These certainly include many photographs of police or Customs Service work, but you will also find many other subjects, for these are also simply photographs taken in China by policemen, or by Customs staff. We also secured permission from the National Archives of the United Kingdom to digitize albums of photographs held there. Those albums largely came originally from the former libraries of the Colonial Office and Foreign Office, but also include material that had no official provenance. Three digitized collections held by Harvard-Yenching Library have also been added, as well as photographs from the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge.
Photographs taken or collected between 1942-1946, by Joseph Needham CH (1900-1995), a British scientist, political activist, and scholar of the history of Chinese science.
Three collections from the Harvard-Yenching Library: The Edward Bangs Drew Collection, The Hedda Morrison Collection and The Rev. Claude L. Pickens, Jr. Collection.
This part of the site contains photographs relating to the life and work of members of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service (until 1912, the Imperial Maritime Customs Service).
The National Archives in London hold a rich set of photograph albums documenting north China during the Boxer war, as well as Colonial Office activity in China.
Nearly two thousand images in the G. Warren Swire Collection, digitised mostly from celluloid negatives, in thirty-two annotated negative albums.
Fu Bingchang (Foo Ping-sheung, 1895-1965) was a diplomat and Nationalist politician, as well as an accomplished amateur portrait and landscape photographer.
The eight Shanghai Municipal Police collections include photographs contributed by relatives of some of the 2,300-plus British men who served in the force.