Established in the late 1860s, the Shanghai Municipal Council (SMC) was the official governing body of the Shanghai International Settlement. Among the SMC subsidiaries were the police, power station, public health, and public works, controlling a large proportion of the settlement's businesses such as gas, water, and power supply, rickshaws, and tramways. It also regulated opium sales and prostitution until their banning in 1918 and 1920 respectively. It needs to be noted that the SMC was formed based on the votes of ratepayers in the settlement. In other words, the actual power of the SMC rested with the ratepayers.
This collection consists of the SMC annual reports and budgets compiled between 1867 and1941, reports and documents produced by SMC departments such as fire control, police, public works, and public health, as well as minutes of Shanghai land renters and ratepayers meetings held from 1868 to 1893.