Photos of old Hong Kong
Here we bring together the photos of old Hong Kong that are hosted on Gwulo, plus links to other collections.
Gwulo - Photos for sale
If you'd like to buy a photograph of old Hong Kong for yourself, or as a gift, we have a catalogue of photos suitable for framing. Click here to see the Catalogue. All orders include free shipping worldwide, and your money back if you are not satisfied.
Digital copies are available too, for you to use in your own creative projects (event backdrops, brochures, printed materials, etc). Please contact me for details of licencing:
Gwulo - Photos for browsing
Most photos here are not for sale, but they are great for browsing. We have over 9,000, so there are lots to see. If you know what you are looking for you can:
- Search by decade - Visit the galleries to find photos grouped by decade, from the 1860s to the present day.
- Search by location - Use our map of Places in Hong Kong to choose the building you are interested in (or one nearby), and see what photos we have for it.
Or if you like surprises, just click the photo on the right (see 'Random Photo'). That will show you a larger copy of the photo, some information about it, and ... a new Random Photo!
Most of the photos have been kindly contributed by readers like you. Do you have any you can share? It's easy to upload them to Gwulo.com, or to show them here if they're already on Flickr.
Other photo collections
Other websites with good photos of old Hong Kong include:
- The Hong Kong Public Records Office offers an online catalogue to their 'Archives for Still and Moving Images'. There are over 8,000 images in the archive.
- The Hong Kong Public Library also has a good online search for old photos. The photos can be viewed and downloaded in high-resolution (though with the library's logo on the picture), which means they can be cleaned up well in an image editor. [3-Oct-2008: For me this site only works with Internet Explorer, not Firefox. When you click the link you should see a search screen. If you don't, check the opening hours as the service closes at different times for maintenance.]
- Several of John Thomson's photos from the 1860s and 1870s are of Hong Kong
- Hedda Morrison took several hundred photos of Hong Kong in 1946-7. Over 300 of these photos have been scanned at high-resolution and placed online in Harvard University's VIA system. VIA's viewer allows you to zoom in to see a high level of detail.
To see the photos:
- Visit the Via website at: http://via.lib.harvard.edu/via/deliver/advancedsearch?_collection=via
- In the "Search for: " section, type hedda morrison in the first box and hong kong in the second. Choose Place from the second drop-down list. It should look like this:
- Click the 'Search' button
- You should see "Search results: 1 to 15 of 309 hits from the search hedda morrison in (Anywhere) and hong kong in (Place)", followed by a list of photos
- Click any photo to see its 'Full record'
- On the Full record page, double click the image to open the viewer, which lets you zoom and pan around the image.
- NB if you want to give someone a link to one of these photos, don't just use the url shown in your browser when you're viewing the photo. When you try to view it later, you'll just see an error. Instead you need to double-click the thumbnail to see the full record, then look for the link 'Bookmark this item'. That's the link you can share that will work reliably in future.
- The St Georges School website has a gallery of photos of Kowloon believed taken in the 1960s.
- Tom Jackson's 'Hong Kong 70s & 80s'. He writes:
I was brought up in Hong Kong in the 60s and went to the Peak School and KGV. These photos were mostly taken by myself on a Kodak Instamatic and Olympus OM10 between 1969 and 1987. A few other photos were given to me and some slides were bought from a street vendor in the late 70s. I hope you enjoy this bit of nostalgia as much as I did compiling it.
If you know of any other sites with good photos of old Hong Kong, please add a comment below with the details.