Chinese Maritime Customs collections

This part of the site contains photographs relating to the life and work of members of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service (until 1912, the Imperial Maritime Customs Service). This Chinese state agency employed a diverse range of foreign nationals, although it was predominantly British-led. It functioned in this manner under successive Chinese central governments from its creation in 1854, until 1950 when the last foreign Inspector-General, L.K. Little, resigned. This resource complements the website of the AHRC-funded History of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service project, run from the University of Bristol, and contains photographs from libraries, and from private collections. Between 1854 and 1949 about 22,000 men and women served in the Customs in Service-Listed posts, in roughly equal proportions of foreign and Chinese staff. As well as revenue assessment, the service was responsible for a wide portfolio of activities, many of them caught in the photographs in these collections, alongside other themes and subjects.