China and the Modern World: Hong Kong, Britain and China 1841–1951 presents a collection of British government documents on colonial Hong Kong, spanning a period of over a century. Digitized from the British Colonial Office records grouped under the CO 129 Series titled “War and Colonial Department and Colonial Office: Hong Kong, Original Correspondence,” the collection consists of despatches and correspondence between the governors of Hong Kong and the Colonial Office, as well as letters and telegrams of other government departments and organizations such as the Foreign Office, Home Office, and War Offices. In the form of bound volumes, these records were arranged chronologically till 1926 when arrangement by subject files was introduced. Each volume comes with a contents list, or a précis of each letter giving the name of correspondent, date of letter and subject matter.
This collection of British Colonial office correspondence on colonial Hong Kong provides detailed and valuable information on the political, military, social, economic, and external development of Hong Kong. It also sheds light on the British Empire in Asia, China’s transformation from empire to republic, mainland China-Hong Kong relations, and the international politics of East Asia.