Missions on Microfilm


Methodist Board Minutes, Reports, and Publications
Methodist Missionary Files
Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society Archives
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Board of Foreign Missions
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyterian Historical Society Department of History
Church Missionary Society Archive
International Missionary Council/Council of British Missionary Societies

Methodist Board Minutes, Reports, and Publications (by denomination)

From the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.
Microfilm.  Wilmington, DE:  Scholarly Resources Inc.

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Methodist Missionary Files

From the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.
This collection provides important records for religious studies and area studies specialists.  It includes correspondence to and from missionaries all over the world, providing a vivid snapshot of life in different regions of the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The letters contain personal information about the missionaries, details about the social conditions in the countries in which they served, and documentation of the Methodist Church’s evangelical and charitable efforts in foreign countries.

  • Methodist Episcopal Church
    • Missionary Correspondence, 1846-1912Organized by the Methodist Episcopal Church in New York in 1819, the  Missionary Society aided the Annual Conferences in spreading the gospel and in performing charitable work in domestic and foreign missions.  In 1907, the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) was created to absorb the Missionary Society’s duties in foreign work – promotion and support of Christian missions and educational institutions in foreign countries.  These files are composed of primarily incoming correspondence from missionaries in the field.  They are arranged geographically and then alphabetically by name within that area or conference.
      • East Asia: China (10 reels)
        Japan (4 reels)
        Korea (3 reels)
      • Other Regions: Africa (7 reels)
        Europe (5 reels)
        India (8 reels)
        Malaya (1 reel)
        Mexico (2 reels)
        Philippines (1 reel)
        South America (3 reels)
        West Indies (Puerto Rico) (1 reel)
    • Board Correspondence, 1884-1915 The correspondence in this micropublication was created under the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  This material represents the foreign missionary concerns of the Society and its successor, the Board of Foreign of Missions.  Primarily outgoing correspondence from the Mission Society staff, these files contain correspondence with missionaries as well as material relating to routine business issues.  Topics include applicants (called re-enforcements) gifts, wills, estates, and annuities.  Also included is information on sending missionaries and answers to regular reports and correspondence.  This collection consists of letterpress books.  Each book deals with a specific topic.  The names of staff members appear on the volume if their letters are filed in the book.  Each book usually begins with an index detailing to whom the letters were written.
      Africa (5 reels)
      China (13 reels)
      India/Malasia/Southern Asia (18 reels)
      Japan (6 reels)
      Korea (4 reels)
  • Methodist Episcopal Church, South
    • Missionary Correspondence, 1897-1940 This missionary files series is composed of correspondence from missionaries in the field to the Board of Missions and correspondence from the Board to its missionaries.  The files also contain reference material about missionaries, mission stations, and conferences.  The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by missionary name.  (13 reels total)   Africa
    • Board Correspondence, 1896-1899 This series of board correspondence contains letters by staff of the Board of Missions to various missionaries, lawyers, banks and others involved in the administration of the agency’s task.  These letterbooks are organized chronologically.  Each volume has an index that shows where a particular person’s letters are located. (12 reels)
  • Methodist Church
    • Missionary Files: Methodist Church, 1912-1949 This correspondence was begun under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church and continued by the Division of Foreign Missions of the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Methodist Church.  It is composed of outgoing correspondence, which contains letters to missionaries from the Board (or Division) of Foreign Missions, and incoming correspondence, which contains letters from missionaries to the Board.  Correspondence is filed together under each missionary’s name.  The files also contain reference material about missionaries, mission stations, and conferences.  The material is arranged by geographic location and then by area of conference.
      China (104 reels)
      Japan (24 reels)
      Korea (21 reels)
      Africa (52 reels)
      Misfiles (31 reels)

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Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society Archives (guide)

From the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Microfiche.  Leiden: Inter Documentation Company, Inc.

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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)  Board of Foreign Missions.

Microfilm.  Wilmington, DE:  Scholarly Resources Inc.

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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Presbyterian Historical Society Department of History

Microfilm.  Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, Inc.

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The Church Missionary Society Archive (Guides)

From the University of Birmingham Library. Microform.  Marlborough, Wiltshire: Adam Matthew Publications.
The Church Missionary Society was founded in 1799 as an independent voluntary society within the Church of England, whose aim was to send missionaries to “the continent of Africa and other parts of the heathen world”.  CMS missionaries spread the gospel not only through evangelistic work but through education and medical care, by providing schools for children, colleges for adults, training in industry for men, and in crafts and household skills for women and medical training for those who worked in the hospitals and dispensaries.

  • Section I: East Asian Missions – Journals
    • Part 4-9. Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, 1880-1957 (146 reels)
  • Section II: Missions to Women
    Women missionaries played a crucial role in the activities of the CMS and their records appear throughout the CMS Archive.  This section concentrates on Missions to Women, both educational and evangelical.

    • Part 1: Society for Promoting Female Education in China, India and the East (or Female Educational Society), 1834-1899  (10 reels)
      The FES archive consists of Minutes, Finance and General Papers, Annual Reports and a Name Index.
    • Part 2: India’s Women and China’s Daughters, 1880-1939 and
      Looking East at India’s Women and China’s Daughters, 1940-1957 (19 reels)
      This illustrated magazine of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society includes information on India’s women and their lives as well as a record of CMS work, shedding much light on the interaction between the local women and the missionaries.
    • Part 3: Homes of the East, 1910-1948 (including Torchbearer from 1914). Informative articles on and letters from missionaries in China, India, Singapore and Ceylon; Daybreak, 1889, 1893-94 and 1906-1909
      Begun in 1885 as a magazine for the young people of the CEZMS schools, who joined the Daybreak Workers’ Union, it contains articles on missionaries, schools and work in India, China and Ceylon; The Indian Female Evangelist, 1872-1880. (6 reels)
    • Part 4. The Indian female evangelist and successors, 1881-1956 (covering The Indian female evangelist, 1881-1893, The Zenana: or, woman’s work in India, 1893-1935, The Zenana; women’s work in India and Pakistan, 1936-1956) from Interserve, London (10 reels)
    • Part 5. Minutes of the Zenana, Medical and Bible Mission, 1865-1937, and the Annual reports of the Indian Female Normal School and Instruction Society, 1863-1879, from Interserve, London (13 reels)
  • Section III: Central Records
    • Annotated Register of the CMS Missionaries, including History of the CMS by Eugene Stock, and the Catalogues to the Overseas Archive, CEZMS and FES Archives (10 reels)
  • Section IV: Africa Missions
    The first CMS mission was to Sierra Leone, a colony established by Britain for freed slaves.  Samuel Crowther, the first African Anglican bishop, was largely educated in a CMS school and played a vital role in the missions to Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

    • Part 1.   West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1803-1883 (27 reels)
    • Part 2.   West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1884-1934 (19 reels)
    • Part 3.   Nigeria-Yoruba, 1844-1934 (17 reels)
    • Part 4.   Nigeria-Yoruba, 1845-1880 (17 reels)
    • Part 5.   West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1821-1880 (17 reels)
    • Part 6.   East Africa (Niger & Nigeria), 1858-1880 (12 reels)
    • Part 7.   South Africa (Sudan, Northern Sudan, Upper Nile Mission), 1905-1949 (21 reels)
    • Part 8.   Nigeria-Yoruba, 1880-1934 (23 reels)
    • Part 9.   Nigeria-Yoruba, 1880-1934 (23 reels)
    • Part 10. Nigeria-Niger, 1881-1934 (36 reels)
    • Part 11. Nigeria-Niger, 1880-1934, and Nigeria-Northern Nigeria, 1900-1934 (20 reels)
    • Part 12. West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1881-1934 (26 reels)
    • Part 13. West Africa (Sierra Leone), 1935-1949 and Nigeria missions, 1935-1949 (32 reels)
    • Part 14. Egypt mission, 1889-1949 (17 reels)
    • Part 15. Egypt mission (14 reels)
    • Part 16. South Africa, Kenya and Nyanza missions, 1836-1888 (15 reels)
  • Section V: Missions to the Americas
    • Part 1. West Indies, 1819-1861 (20 reels)
    • Part 2. North West Canada, 1821-1880 (30 reels)
    • Part 3. North West Canada, 1881-1930 (33 reels)

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International Missionary Council/Conference of British Missionary Societies

Zug: Inter Documentation Co, AG.

American Missionary Association.
New Orleans, LA.  Microfilm.

Day Missions Collection (Guide)
Yale University Divinity School Library.
Microfilm.  Evanston, IL: American Theological Library Association. (202 reels; 1285 titles)
The collection was begun by Professor George Edward Day at Yale in 1891, and named for him after his death.  Professor Day envisioned a Library of Foreign Missions containing six types of material:  the history of missions in various countries, missionary biography, the annual reports of missionary societies, periodicals, works prepared by missionaries for the use of the peoples of mission fields, and literature relating to Jewish missions. These titles constitute approximately one fourth of the Day Missions Collections.  Criteria for microfilming were  1) subject area, 2) date of publication, and 3) physical condition.  Selected were documentation of mission work in Asia and Oceania, published between 1800 and 1920, not previously filmed but showing physical deterioration. A guide to portions of the collection can be found here.

Paris Evangelical Missionary Society Archives, 1822-1947
The Paris Evangelical Missionary Society was founded in 1822.  It sent its first missionaries to Africa in the 1820’s and remained active on that continent into the 20th century.  In the second half of the 19th century, it extended its work to Oceania (Tahiti and New Caledonia).  The missionary correspondence from the field forms a rich source for all those interested in the history, anthropology and linguistics of Africa and the Pacific, as well as in the history of the inculturation of Christianity in non-Western areas.  The body of documentation on the auxiliary and home activities of the SMEP provides interesting information not only for the study of the Missionary Society itself, but also for the study of Protestantism in France in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
With the creation in 1971 of the Communaute Evangelique d’Action Apostolique (CEVAA) and the Department Evangelique Francais d’Action Apostolique (DEFAP), the SMEP as such ceased to exit.  Its archives, however, have been retained by the DEFAP in the Maison des Missions on the Boulevard Arago in Paris, which has been in use since 1887 and where this present collection was filmed.

The World of Port Royal: the Jansenist movement in the Catholic Church, 17th-18th centuries.  (511 fiche)
In the 17th century a heated theological debate raged in Catholic Europe on the role of divine grace and the efficacy of good works in obtaining eternal salvation.  The position taken by the so-called Jansenists (named for Dutch theologian Cornelis Jansen, 1585-1638), who was professor of Sacred Theology at the University of Louvain in the southern Netherlands was deeply pessimistic about man’s ability to do anything to achieve his own salvation, which was either granted by the grace of God or was not. Based on the theology of St. Augustine, this position was in many ways close to that of the Protestant Calvinists concerning predestination.  In France the Jansenist movement centered around the Parisian convent of Port Royal and attracted many adherents, who produced an extensive correspondence and other documentation. In the early 18th century, archival materials from Port Royal were transferred to the Dutch Republic where many Jansenists found a safe refuge in Utrecht and other places.  This remarkable collection of correspondence and other documents in French, which is owned by the Old Catholic Church of the Netherlands, is held by the State Archives in Utrecht.  The collection includes a external finding aid based on Bruggeman, J. and A.J. van de Ven, Inventaire des pieces d’archives francaises se rapportant a l’Abbaye de Port-Royal des Champs et son cercle … The Hague, 1972.

Missionary Review of the World, 1878-1939 (52 reels)
New York: Funk and Wagnall’s, microfilmed by American Theological Library Association, Evanston

Records of the Moravian Mission among the Indians of North America
These records are from the Archives of the Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  The Moravians came to America in 1735 to preach the Gospel to the indigenous people.  Unlike many other missions to the Indians of the Americas, the Moravians lived and traveled with the Indian nations they were attached to throughout their mission (even as the nations were moved to other parts of the United States and Canada).  The work of the Moravians lasted until 1900, with most of their work being focused on the Delawares, Mahicans and Cherokees.  The archive consist of letters, diaries, trial reports, reports and diaries from the field, diagrams, lists of names, catalogs, conference minutes and miscellaneous records (i.e. land titles, notes, financial records). (40 reels)

Oregon Province Archives of the Society of Jesus
The Oregon Province Archives of the Society of Jesus first took form in 1912.  The archive has the single greatest collection of extant material on Jesuit missionary activity in the Pacific Northwest between 1853 and 1960.  In 1932 when the California Mission was split in two, the Oregon Mission assumed authority over the Alaskan and Rocky Mountain Mission.  The historical papers of the Alaskan Mission are included within the Alaskan Mission Collection of the Oregon Province Archives.

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