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Historical Photographs of China website

25 January 2017

The redesigned Historical Photographs of China website ( was formally launched on 16 January 2017.  The website hosts over 10,500 images, including 1,400 recently added images from nine new collections.

These include a large and diverse selection of photographs from Shanghai-based news photographer Malcolm Rosholt, the family photographs of Sikh life and work in Shanghai in the Ranjit Singh Sangha collection, and some of Felice Beato's photographs of the bloody 1860 North China Campaign. Mao Zedong, Rabindranath Tagore, the Tenth Panchen Lama, General Sir Robert Napier, Father Jacquinot, and sometime North China Daily News editor R.W. Little join the cast of personalities. The new images range from 1860 (with some earlier ones on their way soon), to 1949 (with some later ones on their way in the not too distant future). 

Developing the platform has been supported by awards from the British Academy, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, and Swire Trust, and with vital support from the University of Bristol's IT Services. We are grateful to its Director Darrell Sturley, Deputy-Director Rachel Bence, and to our colleagues who have co-ordinated or who have built the new platform: Dr Simon Price, Pete Boere, Mike Jones, Paul Smith, Virginia Knight, Tessa Alexander, Damian Steer. As well as their technical expertise, our colleagues have also brought a great deal of enthusiasm and commitment to the initiative and of course we remain grateful to the scores of families who have contacted us and offered collections.

Below is a link to Robert Bickers’ blog about the relaunch

An overhaul for will also be taking place soon. This platform, unveiled five years ago now, with funding from JISC, searches across different repositories, but the underlying technology is creaking. This will be rebuilt using the same system that has powered the new Historical Photographs of China.

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