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What's New

2020

New additions to the archives of the Government Records Service:
Archival records relating to Hong Kong from The National Archives of the United Kingdom, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library of the United States of America

7 May 2020

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To enhance its existing archival holdings, the Public Records Office ("PRO") of the Government Records Service ("GRS") has acquired a total of 193 archival records relating to Hong Kong from The National Archives of the United Kingdom ("TNA"), the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library of the United States of America. These archival records, in the form of digital copies, are put under ten Hong Kong Manuscript Series ("HKMS"). They are available for public viewing starting from 8 May 2020. Members of the public are welcome to visit the Search Room of the PRO to inspect these records which have already been included in our online catalogue.

To minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community, the Search Room service of the PRO has been adjusted. GRS will continue to monitor the latest situation of COVID-19 closely and review the arrangements on Search Room services of the PRO in a timely manner. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates prior to their visit to PRO.

Brief description of the new additions

The records acquired from TNA

These 101 records are selected from two records series of TNA, namely FCO 21: Foreign Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Far Eastern Department: Registered Files (F and FE Series) and FCO 40: Commonwealth Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Hong Kong Departments: Registered Files, Hong Kong, British Honduras, British Indian Ocean Territories and the Seychelles (HW and HK Series). They are now grouped into two corresponding records series under the HKMS of PRO, as follows –

HKMS188: Microfilm / Digital Images of Registered files of Far Eastern Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Selected records of FCO 21)

The newly acquired records in this series comprise five digitised records selected from FCO 21: Foreign Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Far Eastern Department: Registered Files (F and FE Series). These records contain a special study of the future of Hong Kong from various aspects such as administration and military; information of Margaret Thatcher visit to China in 1991 and a proposed visit of Alastair Goodlad to China and Hong Kong; UK policy on relaxing measures against China after the Tiananmen Square Incident; and Heads of Mission Conference of Trade of the Pacific Rim. The covering period of the files in this deposit is 1982 to 1992.

HKMS189: Microfilm / Digital Images of Registered Files of Hong Kong Departments, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (selected records of FCO 40)

The newly acquired records in this series comprise 96 digitised records selected from FCO 40: Commonwealth Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Hong Kong Department: Registered Files, Hong Kong, British Honduras, British Indian Ocean Territories and the Seychelles (HW and HK Series). The records are mainly about the future of Hong Kong, covering a wide range of topics, including assessment and suggestion about Hong Kong situation, suggestion of creating an independent prosecuting authority after 1997, mutual legal assistance and reciprocal judicial assistance between the Mainland and Hong Kong, extradition agreements between Hong Kong and foreign countries, administrative and legal matters in relations to the Joint Liaison Group and its relations with Legislative Council, UK nationality scheme and the granting of full British citizenship to some Hong Kong people, and port and airport development strategy. The covering period of the files in this deposit is 1968 to 1992.

The records acquired from the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library of the United States of America

These 49 records are selected from three collections of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, namely the National Security Council, the Office of National Security Affairs, and the Office of Operations, Administration, and Staff Secretary. They are now grouped into three corresponding records series under the HKMS of PRO, as follows –

HKMS221: Digital Images of Files from the National Security Council, USA (Selected records of OA/ID CF01722 and OA/ID CF01734)

The newly acquired records in this series comprise 31 digitised records from the National Security Council, USA. They cover a wide range of issues, including the 1989 student movement in Beijing; US policy towards Hong Kong and the US-Hong Kong Policy Act; most-favoured-nation tariff agreement with China; the proposed US-China Act and Chinese Student Protection Act; bilateral copyright relations between the US and China; human rights issues in China; arms sales matters; visits of Chinese mayors to the US; human rights matters in Tibet and activities of the Dalai Lama; and various issues about US-Taiwan relations. The covering period of the files in this deposit is 1989 to 1992.

HKMS222: Digital Images of Files from the Office of National Security Affairs, USA (Selected records of OA/ID 30005)

The newly acquired records in this series comprise 16 digitised records from the Office of National Security Affairs, USA. They are documents and files about the visit to Far East by George H. W. Bush, the then Vice President, in 1985. Records include brief book of the visit concerning schedules, transportations, instructions and other arrangements; reports of media reactions to the visit; memorandum of conversations and meeting details; toast statements and speeches; correspondences between the White House and foreign embassies; and schedules and general correspondences. The covering period of the files in this deposit is June to October 1985.

HKMS223: Digital Images of Files from the Office of Operations, Administration, and Staff Secretary, USA (Selected records of OA/ID 20700)

The newly acquired records in this series comprise two digitised records from the Office of Operations, Administration, and Staff Secretary, USA. They cover the visit of George H. W. Bush, the then Vice President of USA, to China and Hong Kong in October 1985. Files include schedules of the visit; brief description of events that the Vice President attended; and a reference material of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, introducing the background and latest developments of Shenzhen in 1984. The covering period of the files in this deposit is 1984 to 1985.

The records acquired from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library of the United States of America

These 43 records are selected from five collections of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, namely 'Laux, David N. Files Collection', 'Sigur, Gaston J. Files Collection', 'Executive Secretariat National Security Council Country File Collection', 'Williams, Richard L. Files Collection', and 'Gunn, Wendell W. Files Collection'. They are now grouped into five corresponding records series under the HKMS of PRO, as follows –

HKMS224: Digital Images of Files from the David N. Laux Files Collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, USA

The newly acquired records in this new series comprise 39 digitised records selected from the David N. Laux Files Collection. The records cover a wide range of subjects, including visits of US Vice President George H.W. Bush and US Secretary of Commerce Philip M. Klutznick to Hong Kong; Sino-British negotiations over the future of Hong Kong; US observation of and responses to the negotiations; US review of the latest developments of Hong Kong; trade and investment matters between Hong Kong and the US; currency link between HK dollar and US dollar; and some diplomatic issues between the US and other countries. The covering period of the files in this deposit is 1979 to 1986.

HKMS225: Digital Images of Files from the Gaston J. Sigur Files Collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, USA

The newly acquired record in this new series comprises one digitised record selected from the Gaston J. Sigur Files Collection. The record covers some subjects including US Secretary of State George Shultz meeting with Hong Kong Governor; Sino-British negotiations over the future of Hong Kong; US responses to the Sino-British negotiations; commercial relations between the US and Hong Kong; trade and investment issues between the US and China; US-China military ties and arms sales issues etc. The covering period of the file in this deposit is 1980 to 1983.

HKMS226: Digital Images of Files from the Executive Secretariat National Security Council Country File Collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, USA

The newly acquired record in this new series comprises one digitised record selected from the Executive Secretariat National Security Council Country File Collection. The record covers some subjects including the visit of Republican National Committee Foreign Policy Counsellor Richard V. Allen to Hong Kong; presidential condolences to C.Y. TUNG family; US observation and analysis of Sino-British negotiations over the future of Hong Kong; and some diplomatic issues between the US and foreign countries. The covering period of the file in this deposit is 1982 to 1983.

HKMS227: Digital Images of Files from the Richard L. Williams Files Collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, USA

The newly acquired record in this new series comprises one digitised record selected from the Richard L. Williams Files Collection. The record is about drug problems and anti-drug measures in Hong Kong. The covering period of the file in this deposit is 1979.

HKMS228: Digital Images of Files from the Wendell W. Gunn Files Collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, USA

The newly acquired record in this new series comprises one digitised record selected from the Wendell W. Gunn Files Collection. The record is about textile agreement and trade disputes between the US and Hong Kong. The covering period of the file in this deposit is 1983.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

2 May 2020

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The Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (May 2) that, in view of the latest situation of COVID-19, effective from 4 May 2020, its Public Records Office (PRO) will provide Search Room services (including onsite loan and circulation service) from Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. (excluding public holidays) for members of the public who have made reservations through the Online Catalogue.

In addition, PRO will resume Search Room services on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (excluding public holidays) for members of the public for inspecting holdings which have been reserved through the Online Catalogue.

Requests for Search Room services by up to 15 users will be accepted for each open day on a first-come, first-served basis. Users will be notified of the reservation result by email. Details of the arrangement are accessible at this link.

As part of the infection control measures, while cleansing of public facilities in the Hong Kong Public Records Building will be enhanced continuously, any person entering the Hong Kong Public Records Building should undergo on-the-spot body temperature check arranged by the GRS. Anyone whose body temperature is higher than the prescribed level or who refuses to undergo a body temperature check will not be allowed to enter the Building.

Besides, visitor and public education programmes will continue to be suspended, and the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building will be temporarily closed for preparation of the new thematic exhibition until further notice.

The GRS will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the arrangements in a timely manner. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For enquiries, please call 2195 7700 during the Public Records Office's opening hours or email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

23 March 2020

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In view of the latest situation of COVID-19, the Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (March 23) that its Public Records Office (PRO) will maintain Search Room services only on Mondays for members of the public who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue. Services for all other days of the week will be suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

Reservations for inspecting PRO's holdings can be made through Online Catalogue. Reservation requests by up to 15 users will be accepted for each open day on a first-come, first served basis. Users will be notified of the reservation result by email. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

As part of the infection control measures, while cleansing of public facilities in the Hong Kong Public Records Building will be enhanced, any person entering the Hong Kong Public Records Building should undergo on-the-spot body temperature check arranged by GRS. Anyone whose body temperature is higher than the prescribed level or who refuses to undergo a body temperature check will not be allowed to enter the Building.

Besides, the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building will continue to be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

The GRS will continue to monitor the situation closely and review the arrangements in a timely manner. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For enquiries, please email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

2 March 2020

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The Government Records Service (GRS) announced that more public services will be resumed starting from today (March 2). Its Public Records Office Search Room will provide services on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to members of the public who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue with immediate effect until further notice.

Members of the public can make reservation for inspecting PRO's holdings through Online Catalogue. Reservation requests by up to 15 users will be accepted per day on a first-come, first served basis. Users will be notified of the reservation result by email. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

As part of the infection control measures, while cleansing of public facilities in the Hong Kong Public Records Building will be enhanced, any person entering the Hong Kong Public Records Building should undergo on-the-spot body temperature check arranged by GRS. Anyone whose body temperature is higher than the prescribed level or who refuses to undergo a body temperature check will not be allowed to enter the Building.

Besides, the Exhibition Hall of the Hong Kong Public Records Building will continue to be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

For enquiries, please call 2195 7700 during the Public Records Office's opening hours or email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


GRS Annual Report 2018

25 February 2020

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The Annual Report 2018 of the Government Records Service has been issued. Please click here to view.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

21 February 2020

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In line with the special work arrangement announced by the Government on February 20 to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (February 21) that during the period between February 24 and February 29, Public Records Office (PRO) will maintain the following public services on Wednesday and Friday (February 26 and 28) to members of the public who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue:-

1. Loan and circulation service for reserved holdings; and

2. Self-service reproduction services

Services for those who have not made an online reservation for holdings will temporarily be unavailable.

Besides, Exhibition Hall in Hong Kong Public Records Building of GRS will be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

Members of the public can make reservation for inspecting PRO's holdings through Online Catalogue. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

The above measures will be implemented tentatively until February 29 and will be reviewed having regard to the latest situation. Detailed arrangements will be announced in due course. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For enquiries, please email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

14 February 2020

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In line with the special work arrangement announced by the Government on February 13 to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (February 14) that during the period between February 17 and February 22, Public Records Office (PRO) will maintain the following public services on Wednesday (February 19) to members of the public who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue:-

1. Loan and circulation service for reserved holdings; and

2. Self-service reproduction services

Services for those who have not made an online reservation for holdings will temporarily be unavailable.

Besides, Exhibition Hall in Hong Kong Public Records Building of GRS will be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

Members of the public can make reservation for inspecting PRO's holdings through its Online Catalogue. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

The above measures will be implemented tentatively until February 22 and will be reviewed having regard to the latest situation. Detailed arrangements will be announced in due course. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For enquiries, please email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

8 February 2020

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In line with the special work arrangement announced by the Government on February 7 to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (February 8) that during the period between February 10 and February 15, Public Records Office (PRO) will maintain the following public services on Wednesday (February 12) to members of the public who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue:-

1. Loan and circulation service for reserved holdings; and

2. Self-service reproduction services

Services for those who have not made an online reservation for holdings will temporarily be unavailable.

Besides, Exhibition Hall in Hong Kong Public Records Building of GRS will be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

Members of the public can make reservation for inspecting PRO's holdings through its Online Catalogue. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

The above measures will be implemented tentatively until February 15 and will be reviewed having regard to the latest situation. Detailed arrangements will be announced in due course. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For enquiries, please email at proinfo@grs.gov.hk.


Latest Arrangements on Services of Public Records Office of Government Records Service

3 February 2020

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In line with the special work arrangement announced by the Government on January 31 to reduce the risk of the spread of the novel coronavirus in the community, Government Records Service (GRS) announced today (February 3) that it will maintain the following public services to members of the public by Public Records Office (PRO) who have made reservations for holdings through the online catalogue from February 4 to February 8 as follows:-

1. Loan and circulation service for reserved holdings; and

2. Self-service reproduction services

Services for those who have not made an online reservation for holdings will temporarily be unavailable.

Besides, Exhibition Hall in Hong Kong Public Records Building of GRS will be temporarily closed, and visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.

Starting from today, members of the public can make reservation for inspecting PRO's holdings through Online Catalogue. Details of the arrangements are accessible at this link.

The above measures will be implemented tentatively until February 8 and will be reviewed having regard to the latest situation. Detailed arrangements will be announced in due course. Members of the public are advised to visit GRS website (www.grs.gov.hk) for the latest updates. For further enquiries, please call 2195 7700 during office hours.


Temporary closure of public facilities of Government Records Service (GRS)

28 January 2020

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To tie in with the response level under the "Preparedness and Response Plan for Novel Infectious Disease of Public Health Significance" being raised to Emergency Response Level and avoid people from gathering, public facilities (including Search Room and Exhibition Hall) in Hong Kong Public Records Building of GRS will be temporarily closed from January 29, visitor and public education programmes will also be cancelled until further notice.


Closure of Exhibition Hall

15 January 2020

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To prepare for staging the upcoming thematic exhibition, the Exhibition Hall will be temporarily closed from 22nd January 2020. We regret this service is temporarily unavailable.


Thematic Film Show

31 December 2019

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Public Records Office (PRO), Government Records Service (GRS) preserves a collection of audio-visual materials transferred from the Information Services Department (ISD). They record different aspects of Hong Kong society between 1950s and early 1980s.

PRO has selected some titles and edited them as a thematic film clip of about 30-minute length, entitled "City Administration in Hong Kong”. Through viewing the film clip, the elderly can recall their memory of old Hong Kong and the younger generation can understand the development of city administration in Hong Kong. For details, please see the poster.

The thematic film show will be available for viewing at 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on every Friday (except public holidays) in the Visitors' Common Room on 1st Floor of the Hong Kong Public Records Building. Admission is free.

We can entertain up to 20 audiences for each show. The seats are available for walk-in visitors on a first-come, first-served basis. For enquiries or group appointment, please call us at 2195-7700.