New online photo sales system launched by ISD (with photos)

     A new online photo sales system has been launched today (August 24) by the Information Services Department (ISD).
     The Government Photo Records and Sales system ( makes it easier for members of the public to access the ISD's substantial archive of historical and topical photos.
     The new system provides a global audience with access to more than 200 000 digitised photos, some of which date back to the mid-1800s.
     Prior to the launch of the system, people wishing to browse or buy photos had to visit in person the Photo Library at North Point Government Offices.
     "The launch of this website opens up new possibilities to share knowledge without boundaries and will enable people from all around the world to learn more about Hong Kong, past and present," an ISD spokesman said.
     "More than 200 000 digital photo records are available. Of these, nearly 105 000 are news photos issued to the media before. About 100 000 photos are digital files that have been scanned from negatives or print images produced before the advent of digital cameras.
     "The online photo library will continue to grow as daily news photos issued to the media are added, and as more negatives and prints from the ISD archive are digitised."
     Photos can be browsed under six categories:
(1) Spotlight: highlights Hong Kong's strengths and advantages as Asia's world city, including mega and international events, exhibitions and conferences.
(2) News Events: official and public events, district activities and government officials at work.
(3) Cityscape: landscape, countryside, infrastructure and architecture.
(4) Economic Development: Hong Kong's economic, monetary and financial systems, as well as various industries.
(5) Culture and Sports: cultural, leisure and sporting events.
(6) Old Hong Kong: historic photos, many donated by individuals and organisations prior to the establishment of the ISD in 1959. The oldest records can be traced back to the mid-1800s.
     "People looking for specific photos can narrow their search using keywords, dates, subjects or topics under the search function," an ISD spokesman said.
     Portal visitors can view photos at low resolution free of charge.
     High-resolution photos of around 1 900 x 1 600 pixels are available for purchase for personal use. A handling fee of $61 per photo applies.
     Purchasers who require photos for commercial purposes need to apply for permission and pay a $1,000 copyright/commercial use fee if permission is granted.
     Purchasers may apply for a waiver of copyright/commercial use fee if they can provide justification, for example for charity or non-profit uses.

     Government Photo Records and Sales can also be found at the ISD website ( or by visiting the Photo Library, 6/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point.

Ends/Thursday, August 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:30