Spreading the word: British missionary work around the world, 1808-1967 is a thematic series contained as a sub-set within the digitized archival content known as British Online Archives (BOA), distributed by Microform Academic Publishers (MAP). This series includes the following collections:
America in records from colonial missionaries, 1635-1928
This collection provides access to 33,900 pages in 6 volumes of American material in the archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG).
Australia in records from colonial missionaries, 1808-1967
This collection provides access to 19,545 pages in 5 volumes of Australian records in the USPG archive. MAP states, "This collection of C series records (C/AUS), along with selected volumes from the series of copies of letters sent and received (CLR & CLS), consists of files relating to the establishment of the Society's activities in the province of the Anglican Church of Australia, and the development of a diocesan organisation to support them. Correspondence was entered into by the SPG, the Colonial Office in London and the ecclesiastical officers in the colonies. The records also include printed reports, annual returns, and financial statements. The main period covered is the mid-nineteenth century, and the bulk of the records document the development of the Church of Australia. The records have been arranged by provincial region and sub-divided by diocese, except for a general group of Colonial Office papers relating to clerical appointments to the dioceses of Australia, which have been denoted by the heading 'GEN'. Though originally separate within the archive of the USPG, the papers and letters concerning Tasmania are included here."
Black Schools' in Canada, America and the Bahamas, 1645-1900
This collection provides access to 24,025 pages of the archives of the Associates of Dr. Bray to 1900. According to MAP, "The body of records consists primarily of correspondence files, minute books and financial reports for the institution established by Dr Thomas Bray and his associates. The files concern the organisation of the Associates up to 1900, and include annual reports. Documents relating solely to the period after 1900, when the Associates were in decline (e.g. BRAY/f 20-29 in the initial series), have not been reproduced. Of particular interest in this collection is the material on the Associates' activities in North America, including Canada, and in the Bahamas, both in the establishment and running of their Negro Schools and in the grant of library books. This work was funded in part by Mr D'Allone's Charitable Bequest for the Conversion of Negroes" (e.g. in BRAY/GENERAL/1/f5). Much of the remaining correspondence is the result of the provision of Bray libraries in England, Wales and abroad. Detailed financial accounts for the purchase and sending of books to colonial parochial libraries is included and these, with the correspondence from the early 18th century, allow the development and subsequent decline of the organisation to be understood. The documents are organised by geographical location, except for ledgers of reports and volumes of the minutes of meetings, which are numbered chronologically by subject in a running series. The GENERAL heading denotes home correspondence, meaning that entered into by the Associates of Dr Bray, and REP denotes annual reports. This archive forms part of the USPG archive, which is now held at the Rhodes House Library, Oxford."
Canada in records from colonial missionaries, 1722-1952
This collection provides access to 57,004 pages of Canadian records of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel from 1722-1952. According to MAP, "These papers chart the development of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel from its early days in Canada until its decline there. The majority of the reports included here are in fact narrative accounts submitted by members of the clergy working in various locations across Canada"
Colonial missionaries' papers from America and the West Indies, 1701-1870
This collection provides access to 40,034 pages of journal, annual sermons and reports from missionaries of the USPG. MAP states, "This collection offers a range of documents which reveal details of the lives the missionaries of the USPG really led. Starting with the formation of the USPG by Royal Charter in 1701, the reports, letters, minutes and accounts of places like Canada in the eighteenth to nineteenth century inform the reader about the colonists' attitudes and perceptions of American and other colonies during this period. Several documents in this collection feature commentary, directly or indirectly, on relations between the colonisers and the first nations such as the Iroquois and Algonquians including the Address of Indian sachems to Queen Anne. While missionaries first started working in the Gold Coast of Africa from 1752, work in Asia and India was first chronicled as a subject in itself nearly sixty years later in around 1815. The annual sermons of the society's preachers provide an opportunity to observe how various verses from the bible are used, to assert the value of the society's mission, during different phases within it."
Colonial women missionaries of the Committee for Women's Work, 1861-1967
This collection provides access to 180,696 pages in 4 volumes of Records of the Committee for Women's Work from 1861-1967. MAP states, "Originally the "Ladies' Association for the Promotion of Female Education in India and other Heathen Countries", a semi-autonomous body linked with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. In 1895 this became the "Womens' Missionary Association for the Promotion of Female Education in the Missions of the SPG", and in 1904 an SPG Committee for Women's Work was established, responsible to the Standing Committee. Includes minutes of main and sub-committees, candidates' books, in and out letters, and reports. This collection is organised by subject and date; the correspondence is divided according to whether it is an original or a copy and whether it has been sent or received, it is also organised by date. This digital collection currently comprises approximately two thirds of the vast records relating to the Committee on Women's Work stored at Rhodes House Library, Oxford."
Ghana and Sierra Leone in colonial and missionary records, 1700-1850
This collection provides access to 4,163 pages in 2 volumes of Early colonial and missionary records from West Africa. MAP states, "This resource comprises selected documents from a number of different microfilm collections, including: early Gold Coast records from the archives of the USPG; the papers of Thomas Perronet Thompson, the first Governor of the Colony of Sierra Leone; An account of two missionary voyages by Rev. Thomas Thompson; the letters of Rev. Philip Quaque, etc."
Indian and Sri Lankan records from colonial missionaries, 1770-1931
This collection provides access to 84,424 pages in 8 volumes. MAP states, "The documents in this resource come from the archives of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (SPG). Some are true archives, arising from the work of the Society in India; some are manuscripts which cover the period when the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), founded in 1698 was working with the Royal Danish (Lutheran) Mission, founded in 1705. They chart the history of Anglican Protestant engagement in the region from shortly after the strategic turning point in the fortunes of the East India Company wrought by Colonel Robert Clive in the 1750s, through to the toppling of Tipu Sultan in 1799, the controversial changes to the EIC's charter in 1813, the Sepoy Rebellion of 1856-1857, and on right through to Partition in 1947. As with the Society's missions elsewhere in the world, the documents also trace the gradual shift that began in the early 19th century from a church dependent on English priests to one increasingly led by indigenous clergy. Accompanied by an online guide to the collection by Isobel Pridmore, formerly the archivist at the USPG, whose archives are now held at Rhodes House Library in Oxford."
New Zealand & Polynesian records from colonial missionaries, 1838-1958
This collection provides access to 8,524 pages in 5 volumes. MAP states, "This collection comprises the C series records relating to the early history of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia (C/NZ), along with selected volumes from the series of copies of letters sent and received (CLR & CLS), consists of files relating to the establishment of the Society's activities in the province, and the development of a diocesan organisation to support them. Correspondence was entered into by the SPG, the Colonial Office in London and the ecclesiastical officers in the colonies. The records also include printed reports, annual returns, and financial statements almost a hundred years, from the second quarter of nineteenth century, with the addition of one volume of letters received from the Diocese of Honolulu, in the north of the Polynesian region, over a forty year period from the 1870s until it fomally became part of the Episcopal Church in America. Of special interest among the papers relating to the diocese of Melanesia is the private correspondence and journal of its first bishop, John Coleridge Patteson."
South Africa in records from colonial missionaries, 1819-1900
This collection provides access to 37,903 pages in 5 volumes. MAP states, "In South Africa, the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel began its labours at the Cape in 1821, the western division being occupied in that year and the eastern division in 1830. The society's work made a limited impact until the arrival of Robert Gray (consecrated Bishop of Capetown in 1847), under whom, from 1847 to 1872, and subsequently, the work spread at an unprecedented rate. Natal was occupied in 1849, Kaffraria in 1855, and Zululand in 1859. During the period 1752-1906 the Society expended £1,092,009 and employed 668 ordained missionaries in Africa. This collection from the Archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, dates from their earliest connection with South Africa. Since January 1965 the USPG continues the work previously done by the SPG (incorporated 1701) and UMCA, the Universities' Mission to Central Africa, founded in 1857 in response to Livingstone's challenge at Cambridge. Both are Anglican societies. As the USPG is a church society, their records are arranged by dioceses, as this is the administrative and geographical unit with which they dealt. The original MSS are mainly in bound volumes and these fall into two series. Series D contains all of the letters written to the SPG, mainly by the bishop and some missionaries, but also by other persons such as administrators. Series E contains the Annual Reports, which each missionary was expected to send home about the area and his work there. After the earliest years one, or sometimes two, annual volumes are required to contain African records in each series. Series D begins in 1850, Series E in 1856, but earlier papers have been filmed, either from series E/Pre/J or from the various boxes of unbound letters that comprise C/AFS. The letter C distinguishes all unbound papers, and AFS denotes 'Africa South'. The numbering of the volumes was abandoned after vol. 95 of 1895 in D, and vol. 45 of 1890 in E. Thereafter reference is by year, e.g. D. 1896. Description derived from an Introduction by Isobel Pridmore of the USPG and 'The Churchman's Missionary Atlas' p.32;" see catalogue listing to view these items."
South American missionaries' records, 1844-1919
This collection provides access to 20,426 pages in 3 volumes. MAP states, "Includes most of the material held in the SAMS archives for the period up to 1919. When originally founded in 1844, this Church of England-affiliated organisation was called the Patagonian Mission. This collection reproduces the minute books, reports from the mission field, articles and photographs on the geography, anthropology, natural history and economic development for the society's magazine, launched in 1867, as well as the journals of its Anglican founder, Captain Allen Gardiner, and two others of its missionaries, Edward Bernau and Adolfo Henriksen."
Tanzania and Malawi in records from colonial missionaries, 1857-1965
This collection provides access to 54,550 pages in 5 volumes. MAP states, "The UMCA was founded in the late 1850s, after the return of Dr David Livingstone from the region in 1857. This high church" Anglican society drew its missionaries initially from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and Dublin. Under its motto "A servant of servants", from its main centres of Zanzibar and Nyasaland (now Malawi), the UMCA began from an early date opposing the slave trade and promoting the education of the indigenous people and the training and ordination of African priests. In 1965 the UMCA merged with the much older Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to form the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. This collection, beginning with the Mission's monthly journal, Central Africa, comprises UMCA materials preserved in the USPG archive at the Rhodes House Library, Oxford."
Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist periodicals, 1744-1960
This collection provides access to 224,737 pages in 10 volumes. MAP states, "Although Methodism has come to be associated most closely with the Protestant Christian denomination founded by John Wesley (1703-1791), the term was already current in the seventeenth century, encompassing a number of different non-conformist churches including Calvinistic Methodism, to whose doctrine of predestinarianism Wesley, with his faith in universal redemption, was deeply opposed. Primitive Methodism emerged as a movement in the early 19th century from within the Wesleyan connexion, with which it eventually re-merged as part of the Methodist Union between the two World Wars. This resource from the special collections of the Oxford Brookes University brings together the main periodicals of the Wesleyan movement, beginning with the minutes of its earliest conference in 1744 and The Arminian magazine in 1778, and continuing through to the twentieth century. The materials in this collection are reproduced from items at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History (Oxford Brookes University), which holds the library of the Wesley Historical Society. Accompanied by an online guide to the collection by Dr Peter S Forsaith, Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, Oxford Brookes University."