Valentine’s Day in the Archive

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|February 14, 2018|Collections & Research, uncategorized|0 comments

Our collections at SOAS Archives reflect the British interaction with Africa and Asia over the last 250 years and include the papers of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations. Not where you would expect to find tales of love, perhaps, but every Archive has its romances and Valentine’s Day seems to be a good day to share a few! Voices of those in our Archive who travelled and explored Asia and

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The Righteous and Harmonious Fists

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|November 3, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

Taking place in the wake of serious drought, floods and hunger, The Boxer Rebellion, Yihetuan or most poetically, The Righteous and Harmonious Fists Movement, was an uprising in China that took place between 1899 and 1900. Tensions rose quickly, culminating with serious anti-foreigner violence in Peking (Beijing) and the city being taken under siege by ‘the Boxers’. Eight international forces eventually forcibly subdued the rebels and the following September the Peking Protocol was

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The China Association

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|August 10, 2017|Collections & Research|

The China Association was a mercantile body, formed to represent the interests of those concerned with trade to China, Hong Kong and Japan. Working closely alongside the London Chamber of Commerce, local Chambers, the Federation of British Industries and the Foreign Office, the Association took on the grievances of British traders in China and presented these to the British government and the Chinese authorities. The Association was created following a

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200 Years of Swire: Butterfield & Swire

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|July 10, 2017|Collections & Research|1 comments

In continuation of our celebration of the bi-centenary of John Swire & Sons, this week’s blog post takes a closer look at Butterfield & Swire, the Eastern managers for the interests of John Swire & Sons in China and Japan. Butterfield and Swire, the Far Eastern trading company of John Swire and Sons [JS&S], was one of three companies established from the partnership of John and William Swire with R

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200 Years of Swire: Taikoo Sugar Refinery

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|June 10, 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

This week we continue our series of posts celebrating the bicentenary of John Swire & Sons by taking a look at the iconic Taikoo Sugar Refinery.     Established by John Samuel Swire in 1881 in direct competition to Jardine, Matheson & Co who already owned a refinery, the Taikoo Sugar Refinery in Hong Kong soon became the world’s largest and most sophisticated plant in its day. Butterfield and Swire,

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200 years of Swire: The China Navigation Company

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|September 25, 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

In celebration of World Maritime Day, this latest post in the series commemorating the 200th anniversary of John Swire & Sons focuses on The China Navigation Company [CNCo]. Established in 1872, today CNCo is the wholly owned, deep-sea shipping and operating arm of the Swire Group, operating a a global network of multi purpose liner services, drybulk,  and bulk logistics services. By the early 1870s John Samuel Swire was convinced

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200 Years of Swire: George Warren Swire, 1883-1949

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|September 1, 2016|Collections & Research|

A keen amateur photographer, the legacy left by (George) Warren Swire goes beyond his contribution to the development of John Swire & Sons, today one of the most successful companies in the world. G W Swire’s collection of documentary photographs provides a valuable pictorial record of the expansion of trade in China throughout a forty year period. G W Swire was born in 1883, (d. 1949), to John Samuel Swire

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200 years of Swire: John Samuel Swire, 1825-1898

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|August 16, 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

John Swire may have established the firm of John Swire & Sons, but it was his son, John Samuel Swire, known as ‘the Senior’ who can be credited with laying the foundations of the business we know today. He was just twenty one when he took control of his father’s company, but it was clear that he had inherited his father’s work ethic and shrewdness along with a great sense

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200 years of Swire: John Swire 1793-1847

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|July 14, 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

This is an important year for John Swire & Sons: they are celebrating their 200th anniversary, no mean feat for a family-owned business. In celebration of this success we will be writing a series of blogs under the banner of ‘200 years of Swire’, looking in more detail at some of the key moments in the firms history, the challenges it faced and the individuals who were instrumental in its

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“The Formosan Documents”: Archives of Taiwan Indigenous Peoples from SOAS Collections

By Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library|February 17, 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

This month’s blog has been written by Dr. Niki Alsford, currently a Research Fellow at the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague, and Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS.  He is also the author of a new edited volume, ‘Buried Treasures: Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Archives Held at the School of Oriental & African Studies, the University of London’, due for publication by the Council

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