The Hong Kong Government Gazette (the "Gazette") is the official notice of the Government of Hong Kong, in which all public announcements made by the Government are published. It was an important channel through which information was disseminated to the public at the time the media was not less flourishing. Companies, organisations or individuals can publish public statements, notices or advertisements in the Gazette. The notices be then official or private are official records, declarations of interests or proof of obligations by the compilers. For those interested in the history of Hong Kong, those notices tell them about past activities in both the public and private sectors.
The Gazette (Document 1) first appeared in 1841. In 1853, the Gazette became a separate publication.
Early versions of the Gazette were printed in English only, occasionally with notices in Chinese. For example, the 11 February 1854 issue published an announcement of discontinuation of investment by a Chinese businessman (Document 2); while the issue on 13 May in the same year published a tender notice, in both Chinese and English, about catering services for prisoners (Document 3). In January 1879, the bilingual edition was introduced. On the front page the Chinese title 香港轅門報 was printed below the English title. For notices relating to the Chinese people, most of them would have Chinese translations (Document 4).
Since 1853 when the Gazette was published separately, all the issues within the same year are put into one volume, serially numbered until Hong Kong’s reunification with China in 1997 and the identification started from Volume 1 again. The Gazette is usually published every Friday and consists of seven parts:
The Government will publish Gazette Extraordinary (Document 11) on a day other than Friday if necessary.
All issues of the Gazette published separately since 1853 are available for access in the Central Preservation Library for Government Preservation of the Public Records Office of Hong Kong.