Digital Repository@HKUL

All Collections (17)


Bequeathed by Sir Paul Chater to Hong Kong after the 80-year-old philanthropist passed away in 1926, the Chater Collection is renowned for its oil paintings, watercolours, sketches, prints and photographs. Yet, the Collection also incluced a library of 54 rare books related to China, which Sir Cecil Clementi, Governor of Hong Kong from 1925 to 1930, presented to the University of Hong Kong in 1927. Most Chater books are nineteenth century titles and some of them have excellent illustrations.


The Morrison Collection is the first major rare book collection that the Libraries received. The history of this collection goes back to 1806 when a library was set up by the members of the English Factory in Canton. The collection later formed the basis of the library of the Morrison Education Society set up as a memorial to the Rev. Robert Morrison, D.D. who died in 1834. The library first moved to Macao in 1841 and then to Hong Kong in 1842. At that time it consisted of 3,500 volumes. In 1869 the collection became part of the stock of the newly opened City Hall Library. But a few years later the usefulness of the Morrison Library to the general public was in doubt and it was loaned to the newly established University of Hong Kong in 1914. In 1925 the collection was made over permanently to the University.

China Through Western Eyes

China Through Western Eyes (CTWE) provides open access to full-text historical books and articles from HKUL’s rare collections, in particular Hankow Collection, Morrison Collection and Chater Collection. The strength of CTWE is China studies including multidisciplinary work, spanning history, culture and custom, religion, philosophy, geography, politics, literature, arts and sciences. These materials were accounts of Western foreigners and Jesuit missionaries who experienced China in the eighteenth-century to the early twentieth century, written chiefly in English, but also French, German, Dutch, and Portuguese. CTWE also includes some historical publications relating to other Asian countries like Japan, Korea and Indochina, where these places were also points of interests along Westerners’ travel route to China in the nineteenth century.

黎草田音樂手稿 Music Manuscripts of LAI Cho-tin

黎草田先生(1921-1994),原名黎觀暾,又名黎丹路,是著名香港音樂家。他一生創作及改編了大量流行歌曲、合唱歌曲、電影歌曲與廣州方言歌曲,又為話劇團上演的劇目擔任作曲、 配樂和音樂總監工作。黎草田先生對香港音樂發展的另一貢獻在於合唱領域,他為多個合唱團擔任指揮及客席指揮工作,對致力推動本港合唱藝術事業產生了重要的影響。 香港大學圖書館獲傅月美女士慷慨捐贈黎草田先生的音樂手稿,並得同意將其數碼化,以供教學用途及作知識分享。本數碼館藏載有600份黎草田先生的音樂手稿,當中主要是他作曲、編合唱、編曲及編伴奏的樂譜,而種類有電影樂曲、外國歌曲、廣州話歌曲、舞台劇樂曲等。數碼館藏的另一特色,是部分樂譜圖像附有MIDI音樂格式檔,可將旋律播出,以提升知識共享之目的。 本項目獲得香港大學知識交流基金資助。

Mr. Lai Cho-tin (1921-1994) was one of Hong Kong’s most respected composers and music directors. Not only had he composed and arranged a large number of popular songs and chorus, but he had also created many film scores and theme songs to locally produced movies and stage plays. Mr. Lai was also active in the promotion of choral music by creating and arranging music for choirs as well as conducting choirs. He was famous in composing Cantonese dialect songs for the choirs too. HKUL has received the generous donation of 600 pieces of Mr. Lai Cho-tin’s music manuscripts from Ms. May Fu. The manuscripts mainly include Mr. Lai’s composition, chorus, arrangement and accompaniment, where genres comprise film music, foreign songs, Cantonese songs, stage music, etc. With the consent of Ms. Fu, the manuscripts have been digitized and made publicly available online. The aim of this digital collection is to make Mr. Lai’s music scores discoverable and accessible for the benefit of teaching, learning and knowledge sharing. MIDI music files for some pieces are also made available for enhancing knowledge sharing purpose. This project was supported by the HKU Knowledge Exchange Funding for Impact Project.

Hong Kong Tourism Board Collection

The Hong Kong Tourism Board Collection comprises more than 6,000 titles of publications, including leaflets, statistical reports, promotional brochures, maps, posters, artefacts, as well as film and video titles. All publications were published by the Hong Kong Tourist Association since the early 1960s and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (reconstituted from the Hong Kong Tourist Association in April 2001) respectively. This archival collection provides invaluable source materials on the history and transformation of Hong Kong’s tourism industry over the past 50 years. The HKTB Collection is kept in the Special Collections of the University of Hong Kong Libraries.

香港大學中文學院講義系列 HKU School of Chinese Lecture Series

『香港大學中文學院講義系列』彙集了部分中文學院老師早年授課講義,其中包括區大典太史撰輯《香港大學經學講義》、饒宗頤教授編《文心雕龍集解》、羅香林教授講《明史選讀》等二十種。本系列同時收錄了林仰山(F. S. Drake)教授 “The Great Learning: comparative table of Mandarin and Cantonese sounds” 手稿,尤為珍貴。承蒙 中文學院、蘇耀宗老師及馬楚堅老師慷慨借出珍藏,供大學圖書館掃描並轉換成電子影像。這批材料除了方便教學及研究參考之用外,亦有助資源共享,讓大眾可以一睹早期的香港中文教育的內容。唯這批講義並非全數,盼校友們繼續支持,借出珍藏,以補遺漏。

Hong Kong Image Database

The Hong Kong Image Database is a digital collection of historical images documenting the Hong Kong experience from the 1840s through to the 1990s. The Database features a wealth of images of Hong Kong, including people, landscapes, infrastructures, villages, agriculture and fisheries activities, industrial settings, housing, buildings, panoramas, and more. The University of Hong Kong Libraries unlocks this digital vault of historic images with rich metadata and makes them freely available for public consultation. Currently the collection contains more than 5,000 images scanned from a variety of resources collected by Special Collections of the University of Hong Kong Libraries, including photographic prints, slides, negatives, and print publications. Among the many photographs in the Database, several featured collections are also available. Included among these are Hong Kong Tourist Association, Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch, Fanling Hunt Club, Land Use Survey Photos, Ng Bar Ling Hiking Photos, Walter Schofield Field Trip Photos, William Floyd Nineteenth Century Costume Portraits, Post WWII Images, Panoramas and Prominent Figures. More new images will be added periodically, recording the ongoing development of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong and the West until 1860

The "Hong Kong & the West until 1860" database was created by the University of Hong Kong Libraries in response to the Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance's project of setting up among member libraries a digital Pacific Explorations Archive for access and preservation of important materials related to the exploration of the Pacific. The database is to provide online access and retrieval to a variety of valuable information, including sketches, maps, and accounts of western visitors and settlers about early Hong Kong, which are scattered in rare titles located in Special Collections and Fung Ping Shan Library of the University of Hong Kong Libraries. The year 1860 has been identified as the cut-off date because it marked the end of the first phase of Hong Kong history. Geographically and politically, the territory of Hong Kong was confined to Hong Kong Island until 1860 when the Convention of Peking was signed under which Kowloon became part of the territory. A total of forty-two titles, mostly in English and published before 1860, were selected from the collection for inclusion into this database.

Sir John Newell Jordan, 1852-1925

The Sir John Newell Jordan Collection features a Despatch Book which was presented to Sir John by his staff when he retired at the Peking Legation. The Despatch Book (1906-1920) contains selected Foreign Office correspondence from the archives which recorded Sir John’s work as Minister at the Peking Legation. The Collection also consists of correspondence and manuscripts on decorations & honours, letters of appointments, probate and estate documents, personal documents, and a few of Lady Annie Howe Jordan’s records, spanning from the years 1891-1941. The Collection contains 104 items with over 500 images. The Right Hon. Sir John Newell Jordan (1852-1925), KCB (1909), GCIE (1911), PC (1915), GCMG (1920), was born at Balloo, County Down in Ireland. He served as the British Minister at Peking from 1906-1920, Chinese Secretary to the British Legation at Peking 1891-1898, Consul General and Minister Resident at the Court of Korea 1898-1906, British representative on the opium advisory committee at Geneva. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and then at Queen’s College, Belfast. Sir John Jordan was the recipient of the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws of the University of Hong Kong in 1920. All images in the Collection are contributed by Mr. Adam Jordan except for a few which are shared by the North Down Museum.

Flora Sinensis

Flora Sinensis contains 212 images of paintings of flowers and plants of China. The paintings were commissioned by Dr. Bernard Emms Read (1887-1949), who worked as a scientist in China where he taught at Peking Medical College from 1909 to 1932 and later was Head of Physiological Sciences and Director of the Henry Lester Institute of Medical Research in Shanghai. Dr. Read hoped to publish a complete visual record of plants of China, so he invited Chinese artists to paint from fresh living specimens. The artists were asked to paint exactly what they saw in the flowers and the plants with artistic and scientific precision. Many of the unusual flowers that appear in the paintings were collected by Dr. and Mrs. Read during special trips they made to locate and collect plants in outer Mongolia, Shensi, the Nankow Pass of the Great Wall, and other places. The classification and listing of the Latin and Chinese names were done by Miss B.T. Chiu, a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Botany, in the 1950s. Flora Sinensis, while not complete, may serve as a reference record of the flora of China in the 1920s and the 1930s.

HKU Press Digital Editions

This is a project undertaken jointly by the HKU Press and the HKU Libraries. Realizing the worth of the Press' past titles, the Press and the Libraries are working together to place these titles online. Most titles concern Hong Kong or were written by Hong Kong authors. While the Press' earliest print title was published in 1956, the earliest title in these pages is 1991. Online titles in this project will show a link to display the full text, and another one to enable users to order the printed work. In the future, the Press and the Libraries plan to make most titles available in this manner three years after print publication.


The Hankow Club, founded by the British in 1878, was one of many which grew up to provide amenities for the foreign communities which began to settle in Hankow when the various concessions were made in 1861. The "China" section of this club library was bought by the University of Hong Kong in 1932 when Sir William Hornell was Vice-Chancellor. It contains some three thousand volumes, providing a rich collection of western rare books that have an emphasis on the Far East. Though the collection is now integrated with the general rare book collection, books from Hankow Club can be easily identified by its bookplate or book-stamp.

HKUL eBooks

HKUL eBooks Collection chiefly contains books and texts the Libraries has digitized from its own print collections in order to enhance access and improve preservation of library materials. The Collection includes Hong Kong materials which were published before 1950, colonial Hong Kong government publications, as well as other textual materials which are shared by the rights holders.