Shanghai Municipal Reports and Minutes on line

BN-IAO has just released is the second installment of  documents digitized in Shanghai with the collaboration of the Institute of History of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. This installment includes two essential sets, the Municipal Reports of the Shanghai Municipal Council and the Minutes of its meetings.

The current collection of Reports is not complete. It covers the years 1892-1908, 1924-1936 and 1938-1943. With the help of a British scholar, BN-IAO was able to gather a group of Reports for the period 1859-1864 and 1879. BN-IAO will supplement gradually as new copies are to be scanned.

The collection of Minutes covers the entire period of existence of the Shanghai Municipal Council from 1854 to 1943. They were established from the archives held at the Shanghai Municipal Archives.

This collection, along with the Municipal Reports of the French Concession (see previous post) and the Shanghai Political and Economic Reports produced by the UK National Archives  (14 vol., Internal consultation only) form the largest collection of  primary sources  on the foreign municipal administrations in Shanghai  before 1943, as well as on  the economic and social history of the city.

Cite this blog post
Christian Henriot (2013, January 31). Shanghai Municipal Reports and Minutes on line. Blog Virtual Shanghai. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

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11 Responses

  1. Nicholas Clifford says:

    Fascinating — looks as if all the material I was not allowed to see back in the 1980s is now available to anyone.

    Thanks to your links, I also found the comptes-rendus for the French Concession — but the 1927 volume appears to be missing, or skipped over? A very interesting year in Shanghai — is there some reason for its non-appearance?

  2. I am very interested in perusing the Shanghai Municipal Minutes and other reports. My interest is in the work of Thomas James Waters, an Irish Engineer who went from Japan to Shanghai in 1879. His first assignment was the building of a paper making factory in Shanghai, but later he seems to have done some work for the Municipal Council. He left China in 1885 to take up a position as a mining engineer in the south island of New Zealand. Has anyone come across this man during their perusal of the Minutes?

    • I cannot say to have read the minutes systematically. Unfortunately, most of the minuted for this period are hand-written and there is no way to do data mining at this stage. We do however have the printed SMC reports, at least quite a good collection. Check out BN-IAO to see what we have. These are searchable pdf files.

  3. Thank you for your help. While the reports for 1879 are interesting, no specific names are recorded. Therefore, it seems I need to go to Shanghai to look up the Municipal Minutes in detail.

  4. PS: Christian, if you would like to see what I already have on Thomas Waters in Shanghai please let me know through my Contact page at and I will email the 2 relevant chapters of my book to you. However, I would need to read the Minutes carefully before I can confirm that what I have written is entirely correct. My book ‘An Irish Engineer’ is to be published in Japanese next year, and I would like to have my description of TW’s 6 years in Shanghai as comprehensive as possible.

  5. Niall Chithelen says:

    Dear Professor Henriot,
    I am interested in accessing the minutes, but there do not seem to be links on the website – have the PDFs been taken down?

    • Sorry for the late reply. I do not consult comments very much. Next time, if you encounter a problem, please right to the contact address on BN Asie. I do not know what happened; but access has been restored fully.

  6. Keith Allen says:

    I have accessed the Shanghai Municipal Council Annual Reports but am unable to locate an access to the Council’s Minutes – can you please help?

  7. Patrick OSHEA says:

    Professor Henriot:

    Prof. Bickers provided the following some years ago. (My father) Albert Joseph O’Shea 5 April 1929 signed his SMP contract in London, and his term of service was to expire on 11 May 1932. He would therefore have arrived in Shanghai about 11 May 1929. He was dismissed on 23 January 1931. I have no record of a reason, and this fact comes from the Council’s weekly _Municipal Gazette”. I was to meet with the archivist in Shanghai in 2004 but it was cancelled and no further information was sent. I am trying to see a copy of the Municipal Gazette for that period. Can you please help. I started this search in 2002 and it has since eluded me.
    Best regards
    Patrick O’Shea

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