Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A YASC Lent

Each day of this Lenten Season, a member of the 2013-2014 Young Adult Service Corps will post a reflection on our collective blog (dreamed up by Julie Burd and created by Ashley Cameron). Click here to check out the photo-filled Ash Wednesday post, and to subscribe by email to receive the forthcoming reflections from my peers across the globe.

Spoiler alert: I'll be posting on March 14th and April 14th.

KW

Friday, February 28, 2014

Episcopal News Service Video

Back in November, Episcopal News Service's Matthew Davies came to Hong Kong and visited Will at the Mission to Seafarers, Sara at the Mission for Migrant Workers, and me at the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives. Last week, ENS released the video Mr. Davies created about my work at Bishop's House. Check it out!:


I want to say thank you (again) to those of you who have already seen the video and expressed your support over the past week -- it means a lot.

Here's to another fruitful six months in Hong Kong!


P.S. To view Matthew's stories on Will and Sara, click here and here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Chinese New Year

I'm about two weeks late wishing you all a Happy New Year! My holiday weekend was food-, flower-, and firework-filled:

On Tuesday (January 28th), the staff of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Archives went out for a celebratory lunch at the Foreign Correspondents' Club:

HKSKH Archives Staff
Sweet and sour pork, spicy bean curd, lettuce wraps with pine nuts and seafood, chicken, pea sprouts with wolfberries and mushrooms, and pork and bean sprouts over fried noodles.

On Thursday (January 30th), I headed over to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to see if the Flower Market lived up to the hype. (It did.):

Stall at the Flower Market
People everywhere!

And on Saturday (February 1st), Will, Sara, and I went up to Will's boss' apartment (atop the Mariners' Club in Kowloon) to view a magnificent fireworks display over Victoria Harbour:

With Will and Sara, the other two Hong Kong YASCers
It's a twenty-three minute long show!

Happy Year of the Horse, y'all!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Legislative Council

This past Saturday I had a phenomenal opportunity to combine my love for government, tours, and archives. I participated in yet another event put on by the Hong Kong Archives Society -- a tour of the Legislative Council ("LegCo")'s Council Block, including its Library and Archives:

The Legislative Council Complex. The Council Block is in the foreground, and the Office Block is immediately behind it. Though the Council was established in 1843, this complex has only been its home since 2011.
The LegCo Council Block, Central Government Offices, Bank of China Tower, and Bank of America Tower
Looking East from the LegCo
Tour Group
Art above the escalators
Council meetings are held in this 800 square-meter chamber. The LegCo, which enacts laws and monitors the work of the government, consists of 70 members, 35 of which are elected by functional constituencies and 35 of which are elected by geographical constituencies.
Photos of the Library are not permitted, so here's a shot from the introduction to the Library and Archives facilities. The LegCo Archives Mission Statement reads: "The Archives selects, acquires and preserves records of enduring value for continuous access and use. The preserved records document the history, core functions and activities of LegCo as corporate memory of the Legislature, which also form a part of the collective memory of Hong Kong." (Fun fact: The LegCo Archives were only established as an entity in 2012!)
Apparently the Archives staff didn't care for my silver sparkly Keds either (yes, mom, they're still going strong). Or they're just really, really committed to keeping the government's records pristine.
Repository Tour
The holdings are so beautifully maintained, you guys.

The LegCo Complex is only about a twenty minute walk from Ming Hua Theological College, so I intend to return and stare in awe quite often.

Happy Chinese New Year, y'all!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Hong Kong Film Archive

This past Friday, the Hong Kong Archives Society hosted a tour of the Hong Kong Film Archive. My co-workers, always encouraging of exposure to other archives and my continuing education regarding archival work, sent me along for an afternoon of learning fun.

The Hong Kong Film Archive boasts a replica of an old-timey Hong Kong theater lobby, an active movie theater, a "Resource Center" for interested parties to explore their book and film holdings, and a preservation room (yes, I enjoyed the National Treasure reference as well). These are my favorite shots from the four-floor tour:


Exterior of the Hong Kong Film Archive
Film programs, which are no longer produced.
A weighing machine, of course! You just have to insert a token.
A hand-painted film poster (replica). It wasn't until 2000 that all theaters in Hong Kong quit hanging hand-painted movie posters.
Resource Center
Preservation! (Fun fact: the film is stored at four degrees Celsius and thirty-five percent humidity.)

Pretty cool, right? I know I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Saturday Morning Lecture

This past Saturday I attended a public seminar put on by the Hong Kong Archives Society at the Admiralty branch of Hong Kong University.

Blurry evidence of my attendance

Dr. Trudy Huskamp Peterson's lecture ("No Closure Without Disclosure") addressed the standard reasons for denial of access to archives and the ten principles of access agreed upon by the International Council on Archives.

Attendees
The President of the Hong Kong Archives Society (Mr. Simon Chu) and Dr. Peterson

"How thrilling!" is the 100% snarky response I generally receive when talking about such things. And here's where I'll admit that it's near impossible for me to not enjoy a lecture on history and/or archiving. But this past Saturday's event was one that I truly feel most would have found compelling, because the sixth principle of access states the following:

"Institutions holding archives ensure that victims of serious crimes under international law have access to archives that provide evidence needed to assert their human rights and the documents held in them, even if closed to the public."

Now, I don't think the undergraduate course "Ethics and International Politics" (great class, Dr. Robert Williams!) or my four and a half months of experience working for the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui qualify me to comment on that principle. But I do think it's worth reflecting on, and not just by those of us who work in this field.

(Thanks for reading!)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Editing and Indexing

Remember when I mentioned that I was assisting my boss with a book project? That book, one in a series on the Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican Church), addresses Christian encounters with Chinese culture. I spent the greater part of October, November, and December reviewing essays with a fine tooth comb, and my knowledge of the history of Book of Common Prayer translation and compilation in China, the histories of local parishes and their outreach efforts, and the theologies of two prominent twentieth-century Chinese theologians, among other topics, is leagues greater than when I began. The first draft is now in the hands of the Hong Kong University Press, and I am looking forward to receiving the second draft this spring.

This was how I looked all of editing season. Likely smiling as wide at the screen.

Since submitting that manuscript in mid-December, I have been indexing The Outpost, the publication of the Hong Kong (formerly Victoria) Diocesan Association so that those interested in a season-to-season (from 1921 to 1985) record of its contents may have easier access. I, of course, am intrigued by the contents of just about every issue, but what I have found most fascinating are those issues from the World War II years, which contain articles, letters, and sermons addressing the war and the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong. A second highlight for me has been the tracing of last century's history of the Mission to Seafarers, the organization hosting my fellow YASC volunteer Will. (Side note: to see a phenomenal ten minute video on Will's work with the Mission to Seafarers in the current century, head over to the Episcopal News Service.)

Volumes of The Outpost

Typical photos and introductory Bishop's letter
Gratuitous inside photo

I feel so fortunate to be able to be a part of this work that I find so meaningful and vital to the life of the Church. Thank y'all for giving me the opportunity and continuing to support me in this!