A primary source collection directly related to the history of Shanghai and the International Settlement
The eighth collection in the China and the Modern World series, Records of Shanghai and the International Settlement, 1836–1955, provides a primary source collection vital to understanding and researching the social, political, and economic history of not just the British-dominated yet highly globalised International Settlement in Shanghai but the history of modern China. Comprised of British Foreign Office files from The National Archives in the UK, that are directly related to the history of Shanghai and the International Settlement, plus a small number of files selected from the records of the British Ministry of Labour, Treasury, and War Office, this collection deciphers and illuminates the International Settlement as the seat of formative events that shaped the history of modern China as it transitioned from an imperial dynasty to a globally engaged republic.
Foreign Office (FO) Series
Date Range: 1836–1955
Series: FO 93, 371, 656, 671, 672, 881, 914, 925, and 1092
Ministry of Labour
Date Range: 1941
Series: LAB 2
Date Ranges: 1939–1943
Series: T 160
Date Ranges: 1927–1935
Series: WO 32
Public Record Office Maps and Plans
Date Range: 1924
Series: MR 1
This collection covers the century-long history of Shanghai and the Shanghai International Settlement from political, commercial, military, cultural, and legal perspectives. It offers unprecedented insight into China’s mostdeveloped “semicolonial” territory, which was governed by a Westerner-dominated Municipal Council; put in place modern infrastructural mainstays such as electricity and tramways; and saw cataclysmic events that pushed the country toward the eventual establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The topics covered encompass politics, law, industry, trade, crime, cultural affairs,, and everyday life, and some of the included materials are exclusive to these files.
VALUE OF THE ARCHIVE
The archive illustrates a century of social and political life in a “semicolonial” and global city in what is now one of the world’s superpowers.
- These files provide a diverse set of valuable English-language archives for researching one of the most dynamic and globalised cities in modern Asia, making it accessible to a Western/Anglophone audience in an area of increasing academic curiosity.
- Given that the Shanghai Municipal Council, which governed the International Settlement, was populated mostly by Anglophone Westerners, and that the Settlement itself was integral to the political, economic, and cultural makeup of the city, researching it is valuable not only for students of Chinese history but also for those researching colonialism, imperialism, urban history, and global cities.
- The material has no overlap with any other searchable collection.
- The collection enhances the following Archives Unbound collections:
China: Records of the U.S. Department of State, 1940–1944
Chinese Maritime Customs Service: The Customs’ Gazette, 1869–1913
The Minutes of the Shanghai Municipal Council
Papers of American Missionaries to Asia: Jay C. and Lucile C. Oliver and YMCA China
Papers of British Consulates and Legation in China (1727–1951)
Papers of Old Shanghai: Business, Banking, and Insurance, 1874–1949
Papers of Old Shanghai: Miscellanies, 1853–1945
Papers of Old Shanghai: Press, Education, Healthcare, and Charity, 1863–1948
Papers of Old Shanghai: Social Shanghai, 1906–1912
Papers of Old Shanghai: Societies and Clubs, 1890–1942
The Papers of Sir Ernest Mason Satow
Policing the Shanghai International Settlement, 1894–1945
Political Relations and Conflict between Republican China and Imperial Japan, 1930–1939
Records of the U.S. State Department Service Lists and Reports of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and Whangpoo Conservancy Board
Shanghai International Settlement: Shanghai Municipal Council Reports, Minutes of Ratepayers Meetings, and Shanghai Volunteer Corps
Shanghai International Settlement: Urban Planning and Development, 1845–1948
Shanghai Municipal Council: The Municipal Gazette, 1908–1940
- Asian Studies
- Chinese Studies
- British Imperial History
- History of Modern Globalisation