The State Library of New South Wales’ Eureka! The rush for gold web feature includes some interesting material about the Chinese in the section titled Minority miners.
There are links to digitised photographs, paintings and sketches, and images of a most intriguing gold medal from the State Library’s collection. The medal was presented to a goldfields warden in Braidwood in 1881 as a ‘mark of esteem’ by Chinese miners.
The text that goes with these images gives a brief and fairly typical account of the Chinese on the southern Australian goldfields – telling a story of anti-Chinese sentiments, violence, poll taxes, Lambing Flat, anti-Chinese legislation, as well as introducing the exception to all the stereotypes, Quong Tart (there are links to Tart family papers also held by the Library.)
It’s nice to see some of the State Library’s Chinese stuff being highlighted, but it’s a pity that people can’t seem to get past the idea that there isn’t anything more to the story of the goldfields Chinese than rivalry, misunderstanding, prejudice and discrimination. The gold medal, just by itself, suggests that the story is much more complex than that.
Hong Kong University Theses Online does just what it says – provides online access to theses completed at the University of Hong Kong. You can browse by degree or department and, unlike many other similar online thesis sites, this one provides full-text searching.
There’s much of interest here – including a number of theses I’ve wanted to read for a while – and it’s all available free of charge. Hooray.
Here are some that took my eye:
Michael Williams – Destination qiaoxiang (a must-read thesis! The first real exploration of Australia’s Chinese communities from a transnational perspective)
Geoffrey Emerson – Stanley Internment Camp, Hong Kong, 1942-1945: A study of civilian internment during the Second World War
Stacilee Ford Hosford, Gendered exceptionalisms: American women in Hong Kong and Macao, 1830-2000
CHIU Yiu-tat, Franklin – Lineage and rural industry in South China: The case of Taishan
KO Yeung, Katherine – From ‘slavery’ to ‘girlhood’? Age, gender and race in Chinese and western representations of the mui tsai phenomenon, 1879-1941
Tiziana Salvi, The last fifty years of legal opium in Hong Kong, 1893-1943
WONG Chun-leung, Empire and identity: British elite representations of ‘colonizer’ and ‘colonized’ in Hong Kong, 1880-1941
YU Yang, Remaking Xiamen: Overseas Chinese and regional transformation in architecture and urbanism in the early 20th century
Via H-Asia, an announcement of a new online exhibition about the history of Chinese American women.
Chinese American Women: A History of Resilience and Resistance explores the lives of Chinese American women during their first one hundred years in the United States. It has been put together by Jean Pfaelzer, author of Driven Out: The Forgotten War Against Chinese Americans (Random House, 2007) for the US National Women’s History Museum.
One of the exhibition’s highlights are the photographs and personal stories of Chinese women in 19th and early 20th century America.
The Sidney D Gamble photograph collection, held by Duke University, is available online. Here’s a description from the site:
From 1908 to 1932, Sidney Gamble (1890-1968) visited China four times, traveling throughout the country to collect data for social-economic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. A sociologist, renowned China scholar, and avid amateur photographer, Gamble used some of the pictures to illustrate his monographs. The Sidney D. Gamble Photographs digital collection marks the first comprehensive public presentation of this large body of work that includes photographs of Korea, Japan, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Russia.
There are images from Hong Kong, Macau, Guangdong and Fujian. Also a nifty interactive map.
As I was looking through the Guangdong photos, my eye was particularly taken by this image of a rickshaw driver in a fantastic raincoat. It was taken between 1917 and 1919 in Canton.
It reminded me that on one trip to China, I spent some time exploring the ‘antique’ furniture markets in Tanzhou, Zhongshan, just outside of Zhuhai. (The no. 31 bus from Zhuhai went there.) The markets are a mixture of small shops/factories that produce ‘antique’ Chinese furniture and other shops that have genuinely old stuff. These raincoats were hanging outside up outside one little place – one is adult-sized and the other child-sized.
Here is a beautiful Wordle word cloud of my PhD thesis. Any guesses what it’s about?
You could also read the whole thing, but this is prettier.