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Rare archives shown to the public for first time

SOME 16,000 archived documents about Shanghai's earliest companies, factories and hospitals will be shown to the public for the first time at the Shanghai Archives.

The exhibition opening this Sunday will present photos and documents about the city's four largest department stores in the 1930s and '40s as well as the Hsieh Hsing Textile Co, one of the earliest textile factories in the city opened by the grandfather of former Hong Kong politician Henry Tang, said Xu Xuan, a researcher at the archives.

"Many of the once confidential documents, letters and photos are open to the public for the first time to give them a better idea of the city's history," said Zhu Jihua, curator of the archives.

Visitors with ID cards or passports can view photocopies and original documents at the Shanghai Archives at the Bund for free. Museum staff can provide translation service.

Meanwhile, an exhibition of collections from district-level archives opened today. Exhibits include the oldest land lease contract signed by the Qing Dynasty government 230 years ago. The land on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River was leased to British and French troops to help suppress Chinese rebels, Xu said.


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