Jointly presented by Hong Kong Public Libraries and Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province, Thirteen Hongs of Canton: selected pictures and documents exhibition is now being held in the Hong Kong Central Library, to enrich the public's understanding of international trade in Canton during the 17th to the 19th centuries, as well as the culture of the Guangdong region during that period.
As a collaboration to foster cultural exchange between Guangdong and Hong Kong, the exhibition is also one of the commemorative programmes marking the 50th anniversary of the Hong Kong Public Libraries and the centennial of the Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province.
The exhibition consists of two parts: the first part introduces the history of the Thirteen Hongs of Canton. The second part showcases the valuable collection of documents held by the Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province.
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a set of 28 historical picture images from the Hong Kong Museum of Art, portraying the Canton customs, main places along the trade route, those prominent Hong merchants, the trade and life in the Thirteen Hongs.
Other exhibits also include images and information of 15 types of documents relating to the Thirteen Hongs and 26 Guangdong local documents such as local gazetteer, genealogy, anthology and biography, all from the Sun Yat-sen Library of Guangdong Province. Together with the related collections from the Hong Kong Central Library, they all provide a window to the past of Canton, a longtime political, economic and cultural centre of South China, and the traditional culture of the Guangdong Province.
Interactive touch screen kiosks will be available in the exhibition for visitors to access the digital versions of these historical pictures and documents.
Not to be missed is a tie-in talk titled 'From the Factories to Shameen: A Glimpse of 19th and Early 20th Century Canton'. Dr. Joseph Ting will speak on the development of the Factories, the Hong system, the landscape and growth of Shameen.
Guided tours, with related worksheets and resources guide provided, will also be arranged for interested schools to further enhance students' interest and knowledge in the history of the Thirteen Hongs.
(Early 19th century)
Steps by the Northern Entrance
to New China Street
Panoramic View of Shameen,
Portrait of Wu Bingjian,
the Hong merchant
(Books in the Past in Lingnan), compiled by Hong merchant