Sources for Missionary and Church Archives

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Church Missionary Society

Details of this collection held at Birmingham University Library.

Cory Library, Rhodes University, South Africa

This institution collects material relating to Southern Africa including manuscripts and archives, maps, books, newspapers and audio and visual resources. Its holdings are particularly strong with regard to church and mission history, including copies of the records of UK missionary organisations working in Southern Africa.

Council for World Mission

The successor to the London Missionary Society and the Commonwealth Missionary Society. Includes a brief description of the printed, picture and film archives and details about contacting CWM for permission to consult the material.

Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide

Based at Westminster College, Cambridge, the Centre focuses on the study of mission and World Christianity.

Missionary Periodicals Database

A database of periodicals on foreign missions published in Britain between the eighteenth century and the 1960s, which was created by the Currents in World Christianity research project.

Yale Image and Text Database: Mission Periodicals and Reports

As part of the Yale Divinity School's initiative to make more of their resources available on-line they have begun the process of digitising their holdings of printed mission periodicals and annual reports. Currently most of these are for American missionary organisations but there are some for British missionary organisations as well (notably the Religious Tract Society). Phase 2 of the project has just got underway (Summer 2012) with the intention of adding a further 300,000 pages of printed material.

Missions in Australasia

The State Library of New South Wales contains a large amount of original and copy material on missionary work in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands – particularly for sources on Methodist missionaries. To find further missionary records held in Australia consult the Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts.

Mundus Gateway to Missionary Collections

Mundus provides electronic access to collection-level descriptions of holdings of missionary archives, manuscripts, photographs, artefacts and printed materials held in over 50 libraries, repositories and other institutions in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Mundus gateway makes it easier for researchers to locate these collections and obtain sufficient information about their contents to enable effective planning of research visits.

South African Missions

Contains information on the history of missionary work undertaken in South Africa, including a gazetteer of missions in South Africa.

United (American) Methodist Church

The General Commission on Archives and History for the United Methodist Church.

Wheaton College

The Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College includes descriptions of its collections, and links to related collections and resources.

Yale University Library

Includes description of collections in the Day Missions Library as well as links on Missions and World Christianity.

British and Foreign Bible Society

Detailed description of the library and archives which are held at Cambridge University Library.


A Dutch company which sell microfiche copies of archive collections from various institutions, including the following SOAS missionary collections: Council for World Mission (London Missionary Society), Conference of British Missionary Societies, Presbyterian Church of England Foreign Missions, United Society for Christian Literature and the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society.

Clergy of the Church of England Database

An ongoing project to record the careers of all Church of England clergymen between 1540 and 1835. Site contains indices for persons, locations and bishops as well as a free text search option.

Internet Mission Photography Archive

A digital archive of images from Catholic and Protestant missionary collections held in the UK, Norway, Germany, and the USA. Images date from the mid C19th to mid C20th and record missionary work in Africa, the Caribbean, China, India and the Pacific. The digital archive includes images from the following SOAS collections: China Inland Mission, Council for World Mission (London Missionary Society), Presbyterian Church of England Foreign Missions and the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society.

Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College

Methodist Church

For information on the current work of the Methodist Church

Register of Australian Archives and Manuscripts.

further missionary records held in Australia

Methodist Archives Printed Book Collection.

Wesley Historical Society

For similar information on the history of Methodism in the UK (especially early Methodism)

Wheaton College - related collections and resources

John Rylands University Library Manchester

Holds the connexional records of the Methodist Church in Great Britian. Also hold records which complement records held at SOAS, e.g. Islamic manuscripts.

Catholic Heritage

Union catalogue containing entries for the archives of a number of Roman Catholic institutions including the Westminster Diocesan Archives, Scottish Catholic Archives, and the Royal English College in Valladolid, Spain.

My Methodist History

A project which aims to allow sharing of stories, memories, photos, research and comments about people, places and topics related to Methodist history: its early development, nineteenth-century splits and sub-denominations, overseas mission and life post re-union in 1932.

Livingstone Online

The Livingstone Online project website, which provides access to a catalogue and digital images for those letters written by David Livingstone to the London Missionary Society and also to his father-in-law, Robert Moffat, held at SOAS Library.

Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History

Holds the Wesley Historical Society Library - a leading collection of published material on British Methodism, Westminster College archives, papers of leading 20th century Methodists and other collections of interest to those researching mission and church history.