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Charting the Pearl River Delta

The Hong Kong Maritime Museum (HKMM) today announced the release of a compiled reference entitled Charting the Pearl River: A catalogue of charts, sailing directions, views and a bibliography pertaining to charting the Pearl River Delta that catalogues over 500 years of pilotage history of the Pearl River Delta, inclusive of Macau, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.  The research project was undertaken by Dr. Stephen Davies and Dr. Bill Jeffery, funded by the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust. 
In commenting on the release of the Museum’s latest piece of research, HKMM Director Richard Wesley noted; 
“The comprehensive large-format reference is designed to be a catalyst for scholars, researchers and subject matter experts to study and contribute to scientific, historical and the political issues of the Pearl River Delta. Today, the Pearl River Delta is one of the busiest shipping regions in the world and the catalogue is a window through which to look back on the maritime history of the region, an extensive network of rivers and an important commercial centre for the whole of Southern China from the Tang dynasty to present day.”
The new reference sources document from libraries and museums worldwide, including the National Palace Museum, Taipei and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum. Highlights of the reference document include: 
  • Important hydrographers such as Alexander Dalrymple from the East India Company and Captain Sir Richard Collinson, among others; 
  • Charts in French, German and Japanese implying their respective political interests in the region and different charting techniques used historically; 
  • Thirty-four beautifully illustrated maps, notably Ming and Qing dynasty coastal fortifications (dated 1524-1526) and a sketch of Typa and Macao – along with survey notes – made by Captain James Cook and William Bligh (1784); and 
  • An extensive bibliography of 48 source materials may be expanded over time given the inputs from scholars and sailing and maritime enthusiasts worldwide in the future.  
Inquiries can be directed to Mr. Richard Wesley, Museum Director, Hong Kong Maritime Museum at +852 3713 2500 or richardwesley@hkmaritimemuseum.org. More information is available here in the Research section of HKMM’s website.