Carl Smith Cards from PRO - now with Card images | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Carl Smith Cards from PRO - now with Card images

Have I missed something and people have been celebrating this little Christmas present from the HK PRO for weeks? ... but they have had a revamp of their website recently, I think.  Nothing much new in terms of the general catalogue (the HKRS series and the like), but now, oh bliss, the Carl Smith index comes with a thumbnail of the card itself.  When clicked this comes up separately and can be made full screen or screenshot.  Both sides of the card are available when appropriate.  

Go to the PRO homepage,  click 'search our holdings' then 'online catalogue' then click the box for 'advanced search' - that brings up a page with a Carl Smith Collection tab ... type in a name or keyword or card number.  There doesn't seem to be a way either at selection or when you've got the list to organize them by date, so that could be labourious if a search gave many results, and the 'back' function, at any rate on a mac, doesn't seem to work.  So far I've had to go almost back to the beginning to start a new search.   But I'm sure those could be sorted out, and here we are, at long last, with real access to the cards.  Hurrah!



That's news to me - and very good news too!

Here's the direct link to the search page:

Thank you, Patricia! What a bonus this is going to be for anyone doing research into Hong Kong's past - a PRO Christmas present indeed. Thank you too, David, for the exact link, which works perfectly just as Patricia describes.  

For anything which is too faint to read, the original cards are held in the Special Collection of the Central Library and can be viewed with permission from the RASHK librarian. But for those of us who aren't Hong Kong based, remote digital access to the C S cards is a phenomenal help.


Thank you for this.  Just tried it and it's a treasure trove of information for family historians.

I'm in Australia, so this is the only way I'm going to see these.  

Can someone explain the background please?  I'm guessing that these cards might have been collated by a newspaper reporter?


The cards were compiled by the Rev. Carl T Smith - there are links to a couple of articles about this remarkable man at:

In case this isn't already known to most already, if you want to search a particular person, say Peter Hendrickson, I find that if you just type in Peter Hendrickson, it will search anything "Peter" and anything "Hendrickson", which may returns thousands of results.
What you must do is put into the KEYWORD search field:
Peter AND Hendrickson
Has to be CAPITAL "AND", not lowercase "and"
And make sure there is exactly only one blank space between Peter and AND, and between AND and Hendrickson
I also noticed that inputting that into the "names" search field will give much more unfiltered results than using the "keyword" search field using the "AND" term.
This what I have noticed with that search engine!

Wow, what a gold mine!!!!  I immediately jumped  into this incredible resource and have found a true treasure chest of information on my family.  I'm in California and it has been so difficult to trace and uncover information on my  Macau/Hong Kong ancestors.  In just a few days, I have discovered great uncles, aunts, cousins that I never knew about and confirmation of other's relationships.

I just want to thank Patricia and David for this wonderful resource.

Francesca Goncalves-Sequeira Loftis


I suppose that now my - “buy me lunch” and I’ll go in for you” - days are over. :)