Shanghai Master File

Scope and Content

This series consists of twelve bound volumes of copies of letters to and from Butterfield & Swire Shanghai, made up and indexed in Shanghai in May 1941. Letters sent from and received into the Private Office covering all the concerns with which the office dealt were copies and made into individual volumes for convenient reference. The series, therefore, supplements for the years 1939-1941 a number of the correspondence series of particular firms managed by Butterfield & Swire, notably for Butterfield & Swire itself - JSSII 2/17 & 18; Butterfield & Swire Properties JSSII 4/7; China Navigation Company Shanghai JSSIII 2/19 & 20; China Navigation Company Properties JSSIII 4/27; China Navigation Company Accounts Letters JSSIII 5/1 & 2; Orient Paint and Varnish Co JSSIX 1/6 & 7.

The volume JSSII 3/1 covers mainly political and general policy matters, trade and the development of the various companies, while volumes 3/2-12 cover more specific business interests, including staff, equipment etc. Apart from volume 3/1 which being divided by subject has less need of an index, the other volumes contain contents lists arranged under date order of letter with a brief synopsis of the company and subject dealt with. One subject index for the whole of 1940 can be found in 3/3, arranged in alphabetical order and giving the number of relevant letter in each volume - this index covers volumes 3/3 7 4 from London and 3/8-11 from Shanghai. There is no similar index for 1939 or 1941.

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Other Finding Aids

Paper handlist available

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Copying for personal research purposes is permitted. Please contact the archivist for all publication requests.

Copyright is owned by John Swire & Sons, Ltd, 59 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ

Corporate Names