Special Collections & Archives, Queen's University Belfast

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Sir Robert Hart 1835 - 1911

This is a substantial collection of personal and official papers, comprising a range of interesting and insightful material relating to Hart’s official duties and experiences in Peking during his long career in charge of the Chinese Customs Service. Significant in this regard is the long series of 77 personal journals which Hart kept during this time. Running from 1854 when he first entered the Chinese administration, the diaries record many personal anecdotes and reminiscences about his life and work in China. The collection also contains a significant series of correspondence amounting to some 7000 letters dating from 1899 to 1911. Although the majority relate to personal matters, corresponding with family members, other relatives and friends, many have a bearing on customs affairs. Other items of interest include a set of notes and papers detailing Hart’s experiences and analysis of the Boxer disturbances in Peking, 1900; numerous photographs and glass-slides. This collection provides an important insight into the life and career of Sir Robert Hart.

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Library at Queen's University Belfast