News and updates


Our new platform, China Families, contains all the China Coast family History resources that were formerly here. This includes records of over 60,000 men and women, including Customs Service staff.

Links to more digitalised nineteenth and early-twentieth century business and residential directories have been relocated to China Families and can be found here. These range from 1865 to 1922, and are hosted on Google books or the Hathi Trust platform.


A new occasional paper to mark the publication of China's War on Smuggling by Philip Thai: photographs of preventive work by Jack Birns

Our film about Sir Robert Hart's legacy has now been posted to Youtube. You can find it here.


One for your library: Gale has now published its digital version of the 7-set Microfilm edition of archival materials from the Second Historical Archives of China, 'China and the West The Maritime Customs Service Archive'. This has been retitled China from Empire to Republic: Records of the Maritime Customs Service of China, 1854-1949.


The Recent studies on the history of the Chinese Maritime Customs page has been updated.

Ancestry has provided a search function for foreign staff details on its platform. This can be accessed through this link: Web: UK, Chinese Maritime Customs Service Index, 1854-1950 (no subscription required).


The Customs Gazette for 1869, and 1871-1877 is now available on Internet Archive. The year 1870 is available on Google Books. See this page for links. These publications contain trade and personnel information.

B.E. Foster Hall's, The Chinese Maritime Customs: An International Service, 1854-1950 has been published as Occasional paper No.5. This is a new edition of B.E. Foster Hall's 1977 pamphlet, together with a short memoir by the author, maps, photographs and a bibliography, and a biographical note by the editor, Robert Bickers (pdf file, 5.1mb).

Three complete copies of the Customs Service List have been uploaded as PDFs to Internet Archive. These are for the years: 1939, 1947, and 1948.


Our film about Sir Robert Hart's legacy has now been released. It was premiered at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Association of Asian Studies in Philadelphia, and is available for purchase here.


The programme commemorating the rededication of the grave of Sir Robert Hart and Lady Hester Jane Hart, at All Saints' Church, Bisham, on 22 February 2013, has been uploaded in the Occasional papers series.


Harvard University has placed online in digital form a great number of Customs publications, as part of its collaboration with Professor Wu Songdi at Fudan University. Not all material is caught by this search. For example, a number of digitised issues of the Service List can also be found: 1876-1907 Service Lists (though not a complete run).

A new page attempts to give as full a picture as possible of the location of individual station archives.


The Willard Dickerman Straight papers have been placed online through Cornell University's eCommons. Some Robert Hart material is also available digitally through Queen's University Belfast Digital Collections.

Our catalogue of the Customs archive at Nanjing is now available for consultation.


There is now a page of links to freely-available digitized publications of the Customs.

We have added a bibliography of new work by project members and associates, as well as other new work on the Customs.