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Updated: 17 May 2017


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Hong Kong Study Circle – Library List
(150K pdf) [updated 8 Nov 2013] NOTE: For the Author Index and Subject Master Index for the HKSC Bulletin/Journal by Timothy Webb see the Papers section of the website [P007 and P008].

American Philatelic Research Library Catalog - As an example, a simple search using "Hong Kong" in the ONLINE CATALOG will yield over 900 hits which include: articles, books, auction catalogues, exhibits etc. [Thanks to Lee Scamp for the suggestion.]Global Philatelic Libraryis an initiative of the Royal Philatelic Society London (RPSL). Consult the catalogues of three major philatelic organizations and an ever-growing collection of Contributing Philatelic Research Libraries from around the world.In addition, over 150 specialist societies have  contribute cumulative indexes of their journals.

NEW WADP Numbering System - The World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) jointly conceived and developed the WADP Numbering System - WNS, which was launched on 1 January 2002. The goal is for the WNS to become the central point of reference against which stamp issues can be verified, supporting the legal philatelic market by endorsing those stamps that are genuine.


General Interest

NEW  Force "C" - Canadian forces sent in November 1941 to try and help defend Hong Kong - a slide presentation.


Fakes & Forgeries
NEW  APEX Certificate Archive - "... search and view the opinions of stamps and covers that the American Philatelic Expertizing Service has examined."

CAVEAT EMPTOR: A series of concise guides dealing with Hong Kong stamp by amtc911 on eBay's Reviews & Guides. See all of his reviews & guides here:

Forged stamps of Hong Kong - 1862 to 1867 QV issues & the 1903-1904 King Edward VII $10

China covers

Fake INVERTED watermark!

Bleached postmarks China and Hong Kong

Fake Sunburst postmarks

1891 Hong Kong Jubilee stamps eBay buying guide

Hong Kong 1948 $10 Wedding buying guide

Fake China / Foreign PO combo covers

Beware of fake China Red Revenues

Album weeds; or, How to detect forged stamps By Robert Brisco Earée (1882)


Photographs & Images of China

Food Parcels Sent To Red China By Mail (1961)  - a youtube video. [Thanks to Lee Scamp & Ingo Nessel]
Wattis Fine Art - In the Hong Kong section of the Gallery page, there are over 150 items including photos (dating as early as 1862), paintings, maps and prints. There are other section to explore such as China, Macau, Singapore, Philippines, Canton, Shanghai, Eastern Maritime, Peking etc. [Thanks to Lee Scamp for the suggestion.]
Historical Photographs of China - "A collaboration between scholars at the University of Bristol, University of Lincoln, and the Institut d'Asie Orientale, this project aims to locate, archive, and disseminate photographs from the substantial holdings of images of modern China held mostly in private hands overseas." [Thanks to Frank Drake for the suggestion.]  "A Tour of Old Canton" by the Presbyterian Church Archives - "Using a late 19th century map as well as old photographs and coloured postcards, many taken over a century ago, our Spring gallery takes a nostalgic look at the old Chinese city of Canton, now known as Guangzhou." Virtual Shanghai - "Virtual Shanghai is a research and resource platform on the history of Shanghai from the mid-nineteenth century to nowadays." The Streets and People of Shanghai - The way we remember them by Ralph Harpuder  Hong Kong, Gateway To China, 1938 - The Screen Traveler - On  YouTube, is an 11 minute   black and white film of Hong Kong shot around 1938. [First brought to my attention by Dr. Andrew Cheung.]

China Through the Eyes of CIM Missionaries - "This database contains 225 lantern slide and glass plate negative images of portraits, landscapes, scenery and architecture in China as well as shots documenting the socio-economic activities of the Chinese from the 1900s to the 1930s." [CIM = China Inland Mission]

Hong Kong in the 1930’s - An uncommon video of life in Hong Kong during those early days. [Brought to my attention by Lee Scamp & Axel Olssen]

Hong Kong 1941 - 1945 - A collage of rare and relatively common wartime video footage of Hong Kong's darkest years.  Includes the arrival of the ill-fated Canadian Grenadiers, the invasion by the superior Imperial Japanese Forces, the Liberation and formal Surrender of the Japanese top brass.
[Brought to my attention by Lee Scamp & Axel Olsson]

FYI - There are numerous videos on dealing with historic Hong Kong & China.


Philatelic Words and Phrases: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish


On-line Exhibits

WWI German Prisoner of War - Intercamp Mail Japan to Hong Kong - February 1915 - January 1916. Exhibitor:  Gregory Pos, United Kingdom [thanks to Lee Scamp]

The Arthur White Postal History Archives - Pages showing 18th and 19th century covers, markings, routes, rates, history etc. Forwading Agents, Ship Letters, Steam Ship Lines, French Mail, British Mail etc.

STAMPEDIA EXHIBITION currently offers over 50 exhibits.These two award-winning exhibits have content of particular interest to our members:

THE OPENING OF CHINA FROM 1745 TO 1897 by Mitsuhiro Ohba / Japan  [128 pages]. Deals with the Early Mail 1745-1867; British, French, Russian, Japanese, German and Italian Post Offices; Municipal Post of Treaty Ports and the U.S. Postal Agency in Shanghai.

JAPANESE OCCUPATION STAMPS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA by magiphila [130 pages]. Deals with the stamps used in the occupied territories including Hong Kong. Extra pages dealing with the Thailand-Burma Railway stamps and the Philippines official rubber stamp have been added.


The Frederick Mayer Collection - The Postal History of Macao: 1796 to 1900.

EXPONET - Virtual International Philatelic Exhibition.

China Philatelic Association - Queen Victoria definitive postcard exhibit  [on the website, click the blue dots with page numbers, to move from page to page]


How It Was

The Industrial History of Hong Kong Group "is an open group for people interested in Hong Kong's industrial history and heritage. Our articles cover manufacturing and aspects of agriculture, mines & quarries, technical education, technology, telecommunications, transport and utilities." [Thanks to Nick Halewood]

The German Speaking Community in Hong Kong 1846-1918 by Carl T. Smith [PDF format, may be slow to load]

Hong Kong Hongs with Long Histories and British Connections by Dan Waters [PDF format, may be slow to load]

Fourteen Months in Canton: by Mrs. Gray. Published by Macmillan and Co., 1880 - the visit started in mid-1877 – how it was: lifestyle, people, businesses, etc.

Treaty Ports & Extraterritoriality in 1920s China by Philip R. Abbey. Treaty Ports, Settlements & Concessions, Extraterritoriality, Gazetteer of Some Treaty Ports, Foreign Forces in China, Americans in China, Links to Related Pages, Bibliography & Book list, etc.

Hong Kong War Diary by Tony Banham - "a project that documents the 1941 defense of Hong Kong, the Garrison, and their fates until liberation." The website "is updated with a monthly record of research and related activities." There are pages that "cover the books that have spun off from this project, and a listing of each and every member of the Garrison."


Nip & Tuck: First Aid for Postcards - "In a perfect world, all postcards would be pristine, in mint condition. In the real world, postcards suffer the slings and arrows of age and outrageous handling."

Preservation & Care of Philatelic Materials - "The objective of the PCPM Website is to present, at least in summary form, the major issues relating to the care and preservation of philatelic materials and to identify additional sources of information providing even more depth of coverage than is possible here. In addition, we are presenting a list of archival suppliers and a bibliography of references germane to the subject."


World - "is an encyclopedia of the leaders of nations, dependencies, international and religious organizations. Included are detailed chronologies, maps, national anthems, flags and indexes which will guide your historical research."

See Hong Kong before 1 July 1997. This includes the names and dates of appointment of the various:

  • Administrators
  • Commanders-in-chief
  • Governors

For such information since 1 July 1997, see Hong Kong (Xianggang).

See Foreign Concessions and Colonies, for:

  • Chinese Eastern Railroad Zone
  • Kiaochow (Qingdao)
  • Kwangchowan (Kwangchowwan)
  • Kwantung (Port Arthur)
  • Macau (Macao)
  • Shanghai International Settlement
  • French Concession
  • Tientsin (Tianjin)
  • Weihaiwei


Hong Kong Government Reports Online (HKGRO)

This is a full-text image database providing online access to pre-World War II issues of:

  • Sessional Papers (SP) 1884-1940
  • Administrative Reports (AR) 1879-1939
  • Hong Kong Hansards (HH) 1890-1941
  • Hong Kong Government Gazettes (GA) 1842-1941 + Supplements 1907-1941
  • Blue Books (BB) 1871-1940

See the HELP link at the bottom left of the page.

If you wish to consult a particular year, click on TABLE OF CONTENTS at the upper left of the page and then pick your year under the series of interest.

The downloads are in pdf format and can be save to your computer. One unfortunate drawback is that the pdf, in this area, cannot be searched so you must scan the document for the information that interests you. Despite this there is much here of interest to Postal Historians: contracts for mail services, rates, Post Offices Notices, etc.


Selections from the link above:

REPORT ON THE GENERAL POST OFFICE, HONGKONG FOR THE YEAR 1922 by S. B. C. Ross, Postmaster General. Of particular interest is the section titled: "Note on the British Postal Agencies" (pages R7-R13). "While much of this is well known, there are some interesting observations, and it is nice to have it all in one place." Lee Scamp, Nov. 2007.


NEW Old Hong Kong Newspapers

This searchable collection of digital newspapers is available through the Hong Kong Public Libraries' Multimedia Information System.

  • The collection includes 9 Chinese and 5 English newspapers
  • Earliest English paper is the HK Daily Press from 4th Jan. 1864
  • Earliest Chinese paper is the 遐邇貫珍 from August 1853


Electronic Hong Kong Collection for links to:

  • Hong Kong Journals Online [see below]
  • Hong Kong Listed Company Papers Online
  • Hong Kong Newspaper Clippings Online
  • Hong Kong Tourism Board Collection
  • The Hong Kong University Theses Online
  • Hong Kong Table of Contents Database - "This database provides access to the table of contents (TOC) of books and pamphlets housed in the Hong Kong Collection, the University of Hong Kong Libraries. It enables users to identify individual papers presented at conferences held in Hong Kong and book chapters of Hong Kong-related publications, regardless of their publishing place and subject area."

Hong Kong Journals Online (HKJO)
This a full-text image database providing access to selected academic and professional journals, both in English and Chinese, published in Hong Kong and cover a wide range of subjects. The earliest title goes back to 1871. There are nearly half a million images from 60 Journals and more are added regularly.

See the HELP link at the bottom left of the page.

You can view the Journal titles by clicking on BROWSE at the upper left of the page.

Downloads are in pdf format and can be save to your computer. They can be searched.


The Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands India, Borneo, the Philippines, &c. The titles differ slightly however the following four links on the website of HathiTrust Digital Library all have similar content that is invaluable to the researchers, such as: 
  • Post Guides
  • Treaties
  • Lists of Streets, Firms, Ladies, Missionaries
  • Naval Squadrons of various nations
  • Consular Fees
  • Custom Tariffs
  • Harbour Regulations

  • These books can be searched however keep in mind that the software that does the indexing uses character recognition to change the scans into text and at times it does not done a very good job. So, if your search did not yield the results you expected you will have to do a visual search page by page.
  • If you want to search using a phrase enclose it in quotes, for example - “postal regulations”
  • There is an INDEX DIRECTORY section near the beginning of each book, a good place to start.
  • Individual pages can be downloaded as a pdf [see on the left side of the screen]. If you are lucky enough to have access to one of the partner agencies, it seems that you can download the entire book!
  • Besides these four books, the website will be worthwhile exploring for other gems.


Global Gazetteer Version 2.1 - This page is a new prototype. Find locations by name. Gives the location's: Latitude, Longitude, Altitude, related links on other websites, etc. In particular see Hong Kong historical and China.



David Rumsey Map Collection [Use the search box in the upper right corner of the screen.]

Historical Maps of China [University of Texas at Austin]


Time and Calendars - Calendars, Chronologies, Eras, Calendar units, etc.

Perpetual Calendar - A helpful tool for the Postal Historian


PHILATELIC EXPERTS - "This list contains the names and areas of about 1,750 individual stamp experts and dealers, past and present, who have back stamped or hand signed stamps or issued philatelic certificates. Many scans included for the deciphering of marks."


SIZES - "Sizes, grades, units, scales, calendars, chronologies; all things quantifiable quantified"


Postal History and Markings of the Forwarding Agents by Kenneth Rowe - You can search the agents by city listing on line.


The links below are other organizations offering information and support for the collector of Hong Kong stamps and postal history

King George VI
The King George VI Internet Forum is a discussion group covering all philatelic aspects of this reign (1936-1952).  It was established in 2003. Membership is worldwide and is free.  Among the membership are a number of well-known KGVI specialists who provide input to the group and answer queries. Members communicate by email and can enter any discussion.
HongKong Philatelic Society Logo

Hong Kong Philatelic Society is based in Hong Kong itself and has frequent meetings and publishes an excellent monthly Newsletter as well as an annual Journal.

Hong Kong Post

Hong Kong Post Stamps maintains a web site dedicated to the current postal affairs of Hong Kong SAR and lists the Hong Kong stamp issuing programme for the year. It also offers an on-line stamp order service.

Postal History Society of China   Postal History Society of China

Postal History Society of China (PHSoCh) is a newly-formed organization dedicated to the postal history of China in its entirety, but recent issues of the quarterly Journal have covered aspects of the postal history of Hong Kong and the Treaty ports, as well as IPO markings, in comprehensive detail.

Courtesy Rod Sell Courtesy Rod Sell

Hong Kong Security Markings and Perfins Including Forwarding Agents Markings - on a website maintained by Rod Sell's for the Philatelic Study Group. Their objective is the exchange of stamps and information relating to Hong Kong Security Markings and Perfin stamps.

China Philatelic Society of London - The society embraces all aspects of Chinese Philately from the Municipal Posts of Treaty Ports of the last century, through to the present day issues of the People's Republic and Taiwan.

Security Markings on British Malaya Stamps - this site maintained by Michel Houde deals with firm chops, company chops, forwarding agent chops and PERFINS, especially on the stamps of the Straits Settlements.


China Philatelic Association - "We aim at advocating philately, researching about stamps collecting, exchanging philatelic materials among members, and making friends with other philatelic clubs."

Hong Kong China Overprints

The Hong Kong 'China' Overprints - Ian Gibson-Smith shares his extensive research into the CHINA overprints. Site sections include - History, Creation, Plate Nos./Requisitions, 1st and 2nd Issues Printings and Varieties, Postal Stationery, Rates, and Security Markings.


Links to others who have links to us.
Thank you!

Taiwanese Postage Stamp - A Postal History by webmaster Troy Clarke - A friendly website, welcoming anyone with an interest in old Hong Kong. The site includes regular articles, a lively discussion board, and over 4,900 postcards and photographs.

Zeppelin Study Group - The web portal for zeppelin mail and airship memorabilia.

ASDA [American Stamp Dealers Association]

JOHN BULL AUCTIONS - "The auctions emphasis is on Hong Kong, China and British Commonwealth ..."

KGVI Stamps - "Links to British Colonial Stamp Sites."

King George VI Collectors Society – The main aim of the Society is to bring together all those interested in the stamps of the reign of King George VI.  The Society issues a quarterly magazine – GEOSIX. 

LINGENS.COM - "Postal History and Stamps for Collectors."

PHILATINO - "Internet portal for professional stamp auctioneers."

Philatelic Database - "We are a team of enthusiastic and experienced philatelists, who are working tirelessly to develop the largest philatelic reference database on the Net." 

StampCircuit Club - "is the virtual meeting place for stamp collectors, dealers, auctioneers ..."

STAMPSITE.COM [Moo Stamp Company] - "We offer worldwide stamps at wholesale prices."

STAMP YELLOW PAGES DIRECTOR - "Thousands of sites now listed with 62 categories ..."

THE THAILAND PHILATELIC SOCIETY - "Founded 1958 ... specialist society."

WORLD POSTAL HISTORY - "... postal history covers for sale. Everything scanned ..."


Philately links suggested by visitors.

Stamp Collecting Tips - Suggested by a group of school children from an After School Care Program in Colorado. Thank you for your suggestion


General Interest
Chindits Badge

Chindits, Special Force, Burma 1942-44
The Chindits were a force devised by General Orde Wingate. They fought in the jungles of Burma behind Japanese enemy lines during World War II. (This site is also maintained by the webmaster of this site.)


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