Hong Kong Local Records Project
From January 26, 1841 to June 30, 1997, the British completed a long history of colonial rule in Hong Kong and turned the colony into one of the greatest port cities in the world. While there were many gains, there were also many sacrifices, one of them being local Chinese history and culture. Hong Kong people may have become citizens of colony run by the most powerful nation at that time, but they were to lose touch with their roots.
For centuries since the Qin dynasty (221-206BC), many local government offices across China recorded their jurisdiction’s history, culture and events in large volumes called fangzhi, or “local records” in modern Chinese official terminology. All aspects of society were detailed in local records, including history, politics, economy, geography, people, culture, animal species, climate, traditions and even folk stories. In a sense, compiling local records has long been a unique and integral part of Chinese civilization. Today, there are more than 8,000 such publications that compiled in the imperial past being kept in libraries and archives all over China. The last included Hong Kong was completed in 1819, when Hong Kong was still part of Xinan County during the Qing Dynasty.
Today, including Taiwan and Macau, all mainland provinces, cities and counties compile local records, except for Hong Kong. To facilitate the compilation of the records, the Hong Kong Local Records Project (the Project) was officially announced and commenced on February 14, 2007. In June 2009, the Hong Kong Local Records Foundation Limited (the Foundation) is also established as a registered non-profit making Organization aiming to govern the overall development of the Project.