About us


The College

College overview

St. John’s College is the oldest student residence and the only Anglican institution in the University of Hong Kong. Its history dates back to 1912, when the Church Missionary Society founded St. John’s Hall as the University’s first residential hall. Following the University’s admission of women undergraduates in 1921, the Society opened St. Stephen’s Hall in 1922 as the first female residential hall. Both halls survived the trying times of the Japanese occupation in the 1940s, and were amalgamated in 1955 to form St. John’s College in the present site of 82 Pok Fu Lam Road.

Over the past century, the College has witnessed not only the lives of thousands of residents who had passed through its portal, but also the evolution of the University and the society at large.

Our story

College plan

In May 2016, a group of undergraduate residents started a project to scavenge historical records and relics across the College campus. Their objective was to gather and preserve materials documenting the rich history of St. John's in the past century, and to make them accessible to members of the College family and the public. The project’s name, “Retracing St. John’s” or “回憶裏情”, became the slogan for this process of historical awakening and collective self-discovery.

The project developed with the support of the College management, alumni and various individuals. Aside from archival management, its mission grew to encompass historical research, oral history, outreach and history recording. With a view to ensuring the long-term sustainability of these important works, the project was formalised as the College Archives in November 2018, with a subcommittee created under the College Council to advise on the Archives’ operations and development. With this, the College Archives is given official mandate to advance and sustain the College’s heritage conservation efforts.

Our work

The College Archives is run by a team of dedicated alumni and residents, instead of a full-time, professional archivist. Through extensive study and repeated trial and error, our team has developed the current archival management system. This is a unique learning opportunity for us, and the involvement of student helpers in our work has helped cultivate a sense of history and identity among residents. However, this also means that it takes longer for us to fully process our archival collections or to respond to your enquiries. We ask for your understanding for any delay or imperfections, while comments and suggestions for improvement are most welcome.

Click the images below to learn more about our operations:

What does the College Archives hold?

Discover the types of materials we hold, including documentary records, photographs, artefacts, and more.
Where are the collections kept?

Have a glimpse of our purpose-built archives repository and find out how we treat and store our collections.
Donation and transfer
Can I donate / transfer my materials to the College Archives?

Yes, we’d be delighted to accept donation and transferral of materials. Learn about the materials we are interested in, how we treat donated materials, and how to prepare them for transfer to us.
Who are the team members?

Check out our list of College Archives Subcommittee members, Executive Team members and student helpers.
Join us
Can I join the team?

Absolutely – we rely on student helpers and volunteers to help us run the College Archives and our initiatives. Find out how you can help us by being a part of the team.

Learn more

Check out our publications and social media to discover more about the College Archives:

Archives leaflet

Introductory leaflet (English; Chinese)
Facebook page

Facebook page (@retracingstjohns)

Discover Archives - eNewsletter (Past issues; Subscribe)
History trail

Retracing St. John's History Trail (Website)

Last updated: 28 February 2021