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The Red Envelope Collection

About The Red Envelope Collection

About Page PhotoThis collection contains digital images of Chinese red envelopes.  Several Asian cultures practice the tradition of giving red envelopes at special occasions.  A red envelope or red packet is a monetary gift which is given out at these special occasions. This custom is referred to as hóngbão in Mandarin, angbao in Taiwanese and Singaporean Hokkien, angpau in Min Nan, lai see (利市/利是) in Cantonese, li xi in Vietnamese and sae bae don (세뱃돈/歲拜돈) in Korean.

 

Sadly, although this is a long standing tradition, its origins cannot be clearly traced to any one source; this may be in large part to a lack of formal documentation on the history of the tradition.  As cultures continue to evolve, the practice itself may disappear, hence our reason for the digitization of these envelopes. It is hoped that this collection will ensure evidence of the existence of this tradition and contribute to the documenation and preservation of its history.

 

Although currently this collection only contains images of Chinese red envelopes,  it is hoped that, in the near future, images of envelopes from other cultures will be added to the database.  Accomodation for these envelopes has already been provided for in the form of the metadata field "Place of Origin."

The Website

This digital collection was created in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course LIBR582: Digital Images and Text Collections, at the  School of Library, Archives and Information Studies iSchool at the University of British Columbia, 2012-2013 Term II.

Standards Employed

Ownership and Permissions

In general, Chinese red envelopes are owned by whoever purchases them.  The rights to this particular collection belong to Shufang Kuang - this is her personal collection of envelopes.  While there are images present on the envelopes, these are not proprietary and are considered to be in the public domain as they are very old images whose copyright, if there were any, would have since expired. At present,  no copyright issues have been identified. However, while this may be true for these envelopes, it may not hold true for future additions or for envelopes from other countries.  We have therefore included a field for "Publisher," to identify the publisher, when available, as they may hold the rights to images on the envelopes.  To protect works that are under copyright, we have applied the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

For further information on this project please contact either of the project contributors: BrigidHelenJenny or use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of this page.
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