Season’s Greetings from SOAS Archives and Special Collections!

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|22nd December 2017|Collections & Research|0 comments

As we wind up for the winter holidays and bid farewell to 2017, it seems every archivist here at SOAS Archives and Special Collections has a festive archive anecdote to share, so we thought we would collate our favourites into a short seasonal Blog post! SOAS Archives and Special collections, broadly speaking, documents the British interaction with Africa, Asia and the Middle East over the past two centuries. The collections

Read More

The Righteous and Harmonious Fists

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|3rd November 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

Read More

200 Years of Swire: Butterfield & Swire

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|10th July 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

Read More

200 Years of Swire: Taikoo Sugar Refinery

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|10th June 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,

Read More

200 years of Swire: The China Navigation Company

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|25th September 2016|Collections & Research|4 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

Read More

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

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|1st September 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

Read More

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

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|16th August 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

Read More

200 years of Swire: John Swire 1793-1847

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|14th July 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

Read More

Cathay Pacific Airways

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|3rd March 2016|Collections & Research|0 comments

It’s been a busy few weeks here at SOAS Archives, but we are pleased to announce that the papers relating to Cathay Pacific Airways have been catalogued and are now available online. These form part of the Swire Collection, which we have blogged about before. Today, Cathay Pacific Airways is one of the most successful and well-known airlines in the world, operating scheduled cargo and passenger services to more than

Read More

Christmas at Camp Stanley

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|17th December 2015|Collections & Research|0 comments

Despite not having much to celebrate during their time in captivity, civilian inmates of Hong Kong’s Japanese-controlled internment camps during the Second World War were determined to keep up the tradition of sending each other Christmas cards.  Using what little resources they had available prisoners painstakingly hand-decorated postcards with festive greetings to send to fellow inmates. The examples pictured above were sent to Charles Collingwood Roberts during his time at

Read More