New display at Portsmouth Central Library explores British Chinese communities and culture


To mark the Chinese and British Exhibition at the British Library (18 November 2022 – 23 April 2023), Portsmouth City Council’s Central Library display celebrates the lasting impact of Chinese communities in the UK. The display covers everything from wartime service and contributions to popular cuisine to achievements in literature, sport, music, fashion, and film.

In the New Year, the display will move on to North End Library and there will be a programme of children’s drop-in craft activities during the Lunar New Year weekend on 21 January.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure, and Economic Development said: “The display gives a wonderful insight into the lives and legends of citizens who are both Chinese and British. Portsmouth has a rich and diverse culture and I hope many people visit the display and join in celebrating the history and impact of this vibrant community.”

From the first recorded individuals arriving from China in the late 1600s to Liverpool becoming Europe’s first Chinatown in the 1850s, Chinese people, who trace their heritage to regions across east and southeast Asia, have played an active part in British society for over 300 years.

The display is part of the Living Knowledge Network, which is a partnership of 31 national and public libraries with the purpose of working as one. The Network aims to share knowledge and experiences for public library users across the UK.

The Living Knowledge Network streams free events, exhibitions, and workshops from libraries across the UK through