Free Gwulo books for teachers | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Free Gwulo books for teachers


If you are a teacher based in Hong Kong, and your lessons cover Hong Kong history, I'd like to send you two of my books for your classroom for students to browse through. In return I ask for 5-10 minutes of your time to answer a few short questions about teaching Hong Kong's history.  


I've written four books, showing old photos of Hong Kong and telling their stories. Old photos are a great way to start conversations, from the simple 'When & where was this photo taken?', to deeper investigations of health, migration, working practices, etc.

I check books before I mail them out to customers, as there are always some copies with a mark on a page, a crease, etc. I put them aside as not-for-sale, and now have several boxes of them. I thought they'd be better used in classrooms than sitting in my office.

Most of the not-for-sale copies are of Volumes 1 & 4, so I'll start by sending out those.

If you'd like to take a look at the books first, here are PDF copies with sample chapters from Volume 1 and Volume 4. The first photo in Volume 1 is a good example of what to expect - it starts with this 1930s photo, that doesn't seem very exciting:

c.1935 Hawker, book stall, rat bin


But readers are pointed to what looks like a rubbish bin on the lamp post at top left. It was actually a rat bin, where people were asked to leave any dead rats they found. Rat bins were previously a common sight here. That leads on to a conversation about plague in Hong Kong, and the origins of the old Cantonese slang "電 燈 柱 掛 老 鼠 箱".

How to get your books:

1. Visit the Tips for teaching Hong Kong history page, and leave a comment there with your answers to the questions. 

2. Send an email to with the following information:

  • The Gwulo website username you used to leave the comment in step 1
  • Your name
  • Your school's name & address

3. I'll mail two of Gwulo's books to you.

Any questions?

Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.