History of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, 1854-1950

People involved in this project

Principal investigator:

School Humanities
Department Historical Studies
Dates 2003 - 2007
Website Chinese Maritime Customs Project
Funder AHRC: Research Grant

Professor Hans van de Ven (University of Cambridge), Dr Weipin Tsai (Royal Holloway University of London), Dr Catherine Ladds (Colorado State University), Dr Felix Böcking (University of Edinburgh), Jamie Carstairs, (University of Bristol)

Second Historical Archives of China http://www.shac.net.cn
Contact person Hist-customs@bristol.ac.uk

More about this project

This project was designed to further understandings of the modern Chinese state, British imperial history, and the history of modern globalization in China, by focusing on the role the Chinese Maritime Customs Service and its staff played in these historical processes. The Chinese Maritime Customs Service was an international, although predominantly British-staffed bureaucracy (at senior levels) under the control of successive Chinese central governments from its founding in 1854, until 1950 when the last foreign Inspector-General resigned.

The project generated new resources, and pioneered access into the recently re-opened archives of the Service at the Second Historical Archives of China at Nanjing. Research from the project has included various articles, student PhDs, and books currently in preparation. The project website hosts a large amount of data, and research resources. The team also developed the ‘Historical Photographs of China’ project.