Carl Smith Collection

The Carl Smith Collection ...

... is a very useful tool to help researcher identify basic data and sources of information on individuals, organizations, buildings, roads, land matters and important events relating to Hong Kong, Macau and China's coastal cities from the mid 19th century onward. Read more...

The collection can be searched online at:

However the cards themselves cannot be viewed online, as explained by Bernard at the PRO:

Thank you for your inquiry.

To my understand, because of the concern of the privacy of the person and their descendants, image of the cards are not accessible on-line. We will let researchers access to them on-site or provide images to users who sign an undertaking to declare the images are used for their private study and research.


If you are not able to visit the PRO to view the cards in person, the PRO can help you. You can contact them at, saying you'd like to request cards from the Carl Smith Collection. They will send you the form to fill out. You fill it out and send it with a check and once the check clears they send you the copies of the cards.

Thanks to contributors MH and Annelise for providing the information above.

Regards, David


Bernard is great, and so very helpful, nothing is too much trouble for him. 

I have got some images of the cards and signed the said undertaking.  But interestingly, it's not the image of the card that I ever use (or want to use), it's actually the content on the card. i.e. quite often the Carl Smith cards will refer to another reference point of interest, such as a newspaper, gazette, book, file etc.  The Cards are actually like stepping stones; my research doesn't "end" at the card but actually starts with the card and then I move on to other sources.  Many a time the Carl Smith cards have given me just a smidgen of information that I have later been able to expand using other sources and resources. 

Anyway, I'll just have to save up ALL my queries and hit the PRO again when I'm next in HK!


The quality of the scans of the images in the PRO is poor. 

The cemetery records are online at

Scroll down to Notes and the link to the online version.  All other records can be ordered on microfiche through FamilySearch.Org.