New online: FOCAL - The Asia Directories Database

The Asia Directories and Chronicles was published annually in Hong Kong between 1863 and 1941. It contained lists of companies, consulates, public institutions, missions and government offices, as well as an alphabetical register of foreign residents in several East Asia colonies. This unique historical source, which documents multiple actors in colonial East Asia over a period of 80 years, is now available online.

FOCAL - The Asian Directories Database, was created as part of the research project The Divise Power of Citizenship, led by Madeleine Herren-Oesch at the University of Basel. It gives access to the digitized volumes of the Asia Directories, and to a database that contains the structured data extracted from these sources.

The website offers detailed informations about the Asian Directories series. The process of knowledge extraction is also diligently documented, and several case studies are presented. This new website is thus an informative ressource that exemplifies how digital methods can contribute to colonial and global history.

Picture credits

Henry Lloyd, M. (1933). THE DIRECTORY & CHRONICLE. Hong Kong Daily Press, p. 890