UBC Library is the first institution in Canada to provide access to the South China Morning Post’s digital archives to its users. First published in 1903, the English-language newspaper is a premier publication known for its authoritative, influential and independent reporting on all of Asia.
“This acquisition has been a number of years in the making,” says Allan Cho, Community Engagement Librarian at UBC Library, “This is something that UBC Faculty has asked for and we’re happy that after much effort at Koerner Library, we were able to make this happen.”
Perhaps most significant about the South China Morning Post is its editorial perspective and balanced coverage of key events in the development of China throughout the 20th century. “This newspaper is known for upholding Freedom of the Press — it has always managed to escape official censorship,” explains Cho, “It has provided objective, impartial coverage of important events in Hong Kong, China and all of Asia, from the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty in 1911, to the Communist Revolution in 1949, to the Hong Kong riots in 1967.”
UBC Scholars are excited about research and teaching opportunities that access to SCMP’s archives will allow. “The South China Morning Post is a Hong Kong newspaper, but it has also covered, in great depth, the news of its surrounding regions,” adds Dr. Leo Shin, Associate Professor in Chinese History, “The UBC community has gained access to an important historical archive of East and Southeast Asia.”
The acquisition will have a significant impact on research in Chinese history, Hong Kong studies, British history, Imperial studies, Asian Canadian and Asian Migration studies as well as Vancouver history. “Access to the complete run of the SCMP means that scholars and students alike are now able to make use of an even wider range of first-hand materials to study Hong Kong and its surrounding regions,” says Shin.