The photographs presented here cover over a century of modern China's history, and a very wide range of places, communities and themes. They represent the work of a 2006-2021 Historical Photographs of China project based in the Department of History at the University of Bristol, that located, digitalized, archived, and published online photographs from the substantial holdings of images of modern China held mostly in private hands outside that country.
Some of the ninety-eight collections are quite large, and others grouped together in ‘Miscellaneous Collection’, are tiny. But we have found through experience that even the smallest set of images usually has something quite special within it. There are detailed introductions to the larger collections on dedicated pages, and concise information about the smaller ones as well. We have provided what information came to us with the collection, and we have added tags and keywords to facilitate searching, but in general we have not undertaken much research into the photographs.
The images are made available with the agreement of their owners to support teaching and learning, and research. They are all covered by a Creative Commons Licence and the details of that can be found here.
You can search our collections from the search box top right on this page; browse in Lucky Dip (a random sampling of images from over 21,000 images on this site) and through All Collections. Click/tap on an image to enlarge it. You’ll find Search Tips here.
Since 2007 the project has involved extensive collaboration with colleagues at the Digital Humanities Research Center at the Institute of History & Philology, Academia Sinica, University of Lincoln, the Institut d'Asie Orientale, Lyon and TGE-Adonis, and support from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation, The British Academy, the Swire Charitable Trusts, John Swire & Sons, Ltd., AHRC, JISC and the WUN.
This new platform has been built by Research IT at The University of Bristol. Our mirror site is hosted in China by Shanghai Jiaotong University.