South China Morning Post

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    This historical newspaper resource provides digitized access to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), an English-language paper published in Hong Kong, from its launch in  1903 up through 1995.

    May 17, 2024 7:37pm
    Resource Types
    Major Languages
    Collection Content

    This historical newspaper resource provides digitized access to the print edition of the South China Morning Post, an English-language paper published in Hong Kong since 1903. It also includes the Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post.

    Coverage of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) in Proquest Historical Newspapers begins November 6, 1903—the first date of SCMP publication—through December 30, 1995. The paper was generally published daily (except Sundays), and has enjoyed a continuous run with the exception of the period of Japanese occupation of Hong Kong from December 1941 until August 1945. The database contains approximately 30,000 issues of the SCMP and its sister Sunday paper. 

    This resource provides a significant view of the social, political, and economic history of the western presence in Hong Kong, up through the late twentieth-century. The SCMP was widely considered an influential paper, representing the viewpoints of its co-founders, Alfred Cunningham (former editor of the HongKong Daily Press) and Tse Tsan-tai, an important figure in the anti-Qing reform movement. However, as an English-language publication geared toward Western readership, the paper's coverage of local events of the Chinese community was initially limited. 

    The newspaper launched an online edition in addition to print in 1996. Today SCMP offers an international as well as a Hong Kong edition. SCMP offers subscription-based access to more recent articles (10-year news archive) from its website.  According to ProQuest, an additional year of content for the SCMP is added to the ProQuest database annually. 



    The article titles and first few lines of each article are hand-edited, and those lines of text considered an “abstract” that can be searched separately.

    Technical platform and interface

    This title is available on ProQuest’s updated  platform, which offers several features conducive to researching newspaper content. All articles are zoned, with the default view presenting each separate article. A “page-view clickable” selection allows the reader to navigate to other adjacent articles on the page. Readers may also view articles and pages as PDF versions, and may export and save results in a variety of formats. PDF exports do not contain OCR behing the article or page image.

    Several types of articles have been tagged, including various types of advertisements, and editorial content. Faceted options for massaging results include selection from a concise but informative summary of the publication title history, as well as sorting by date or relevance. The word-occurrence graph, which can be adjusted to show frequency of search terms over varying periods of time, presents the average user with an out-of-the-box text-mining tool.

    Cross-collection searching is possible with other titles available through the ProQuest Historical Newspapers platform.

    Strengths and Weaknesses

    The database provides access to SCMP print edition content only (rather than to SCMP content that is web only), with a ten year "moving wall" for new content. 

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