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4/F Main Library

Jun 01 2022

Librarian Message re: Special Collections Access Procedure

Published by at 5:02 pm under Breaking News

Librarian Message re: Special Collections Access Procedure 

Jun 2022 

Dear Special Collections Users, 

The HKU Library Special Collections covers a variety of rare and unique materials which are quite fragile. This includes the western rare books relating to early China and Sinology dating back as early as 1588 – Historia della’ China, in Italian. These rare books collections are known as Morrison, Hankow and Charter Collections. Moreover, it contains materials relating to Japanese Occupation in Hong Kong. It also holds the looted library books from HKUL by the Japanese during World War II. Within the Special Collections, we have a unique Hong Kong Collection. 

Hong Kong Collection serves as a permanent one-stop repository of research materials covering all aspects about Hong Kong. Since 1974, we actively collect various kinds of Hong Kong-related publications and materials with the mission of preserving the Hong Kong history and cultural heritage.  We have the most complete Hong Kong Collection globally.  We are proud to support many researchers for Hong Kong studies with our collection. 

 To maximize the longevity of our special collections, the Preservation and Conservation team performs the necessary treatments to stabilize existing damages and prevent further damages. We also perform a wide range of care activities.  All these will enhance the overall value, significance and usage of the collections. The special collections are irreplaceable and invaluable sources for understanding the past, which is the foundation for the future.  

 Access procedures were recently updated to align with international best practice and policies of other international institutions and universities with Special Collections.  We focus on the preservation and protection on unique, valuable, rare and irreplaceable collections.  We need to prevent mishandling, over usage and vandalism.  We also want to ensure the collections and study space are being best utilised by researchers and scholars who need physical access to the collections.  

The official announcement and refined procedures including advance booking of our research desks, are on HKUL homepage. Please refer to this official source directly for details.  We will continue to review our approach as appropriate.  


Flora Ng,
CIO / University Librarian


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