RAS Salon

Collecting China, or Trying To – Dispatches from the Front

Speaker: Roy Delbyck

Seven years ago, Roy Delbyck came down with a bug which infects him until today. The bug is collecting and it has manifested itself in tens of thousands of items – books, maps, photographs, newspapers, letters, diaries, posters, postcards, directories, yearbooks and other ephemera – on China and Hong Kong, largely from the first half of the 20th century, with pre-World War II Shanghai occupying a major place in his collection.

Roy will discuss what he collects, how his collecting interests have changed over time, the fish that got away and the five items he would grab in case of a natural disaster, while exploring the nature of collecting and how private collectors fill in the gaps, often going where institutions can’t.

About the speaker

When not collecting, Roy Delbyck is a US customs and trade lawyer with his own firm in Hong Kong where he has resided for many years. He is a trustee of the Museum of Chinese in America, based in New York City, and has served as a Vice President and Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Roy has spoken on collecting and his collection at the Hong Kong branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Hong Kong University, City University of Hong Kong and the Yale Club of Hong Kong. Photographs and other materials from his collection have been exhibited at Hong Kong University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


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