(Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society Archive

The collection records the work of the Methodist Missionary Society (from the Methodist Union of 1932), and the work of the different missionary societies prior to 1932 (including the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Primitive Methodist Missionary Society and the missionary societies of the ch...

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Date(s) of creation: 1691-2018
Level: Collection
Format: Archive           

Reference number: MMS
Summary: The collection records the work of the Methodist Missionary Society (from the Methodist Union of 1932), and the work of the different missionary societies prior to 1932 (including the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Primitive Methodist Missionary Society and the missionary societies of the churches that formed the United Methodist Church). It covers overseas missionary work in Europe, North America, West Indies [Caribbean and Americas], Africa, India, Ceylon [Sri Lanka], China, Burma [Mynamar] and Australasia. The papers have been divided into Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society / Methodist Missionary Society (which form a continuous series), Women's Work (representing the work of Wesleyan women missionaries before 1932, and the work of all women in the Methodist Missionary Society after 1932), the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society, the United Methodist Missionary Society and its constituent Churches - the Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society, the Bible Christian Home and Foreign Missionary Society, and the United Methodist Free Church Foreign Missions. The contents of the collection predominately date from the start of the nineteenth century until 1950. The main series for the (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society includes material from the home organisation in London, which directed overseas missionary affairs, including committee minutes and papers, candidates' papers (1829-1869) finance papers (1817-1945) Home (1803-1896) and outgoing correspondence (from 1816). However, the bulk of the material comprises Synod minutes and correspondence sent to London from the overseas districts including Europe, North America, West Indies [Caribbean and Americas], West Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, Kenya, Ceylon [Sri Lanka], Southern India, Northern India, Burma [Mynamar], China & South East Asia, and Australasia/South Seas. Special series include biographical material of missionaries from all Methodist denominations (including Thomas Birch Freeman, David Hill, Samuel Pollard, Edwin Smith and John Thomas); missionary ships' logs and papers; small artificial collections (e.g. Anti-slavery papers); and a miscellaneous assortment of notes, typescripts, unpublished articles and histories. There are approximately 2500 photographs, which cover India, Burma [Mynamar], Ceylon [Sri Lanka], Australasia, Africa, China and the West Indies [Caribbean and Americas]. The Women's Work collection includes minutes (from 1858), reports (from 1923), financial papers (from 1898) and correspondence from overseas districts (from 1906). The Primitive Methodist Missionary Society collection likewise includes minutes (1863-1933), reports (1894-1916) and home (1894-1933) and incoming correspondence (1892-1934). The United Methodist Missionary Society collection consists of the minutes of the Foreign Missions Committee (1908-1933) and one South West China Minute Book (1905-1932), the home minutes of the Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society (1844-1908), the Bible Christian Home and Foreign Missionary Society (1861-1873, 1882-1891 & 1903-1909), and the United Methodist Free Church Foreign Missions (1869-1883 & 1900-1908). See appropriate sub-fond entries for further information.
Main author: Methodist Missionary Society
Other authors: Methodist Church Overseas Division ; Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society ; United Methodist Missionary Society ; Primitive Methodist Missionary Society
Extent: 1,441 boxes
Admin history: Upon the Methodist Union of 1932, the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS) and the foreign missions of the United Methodist Church and the Primitive Methodist Church merged to form the Methodist Missionary Society (MMS). The formation of the United Methodist Church in 1907 had already brought together the foreign mission activities of the Methodist New Connexion, the Bible Christians and the United Methodist Free Churches. The MMS retained the general administrative structure of the WMMS, so the records of the WMMS and MMS form a contin ... View more
Acquisition: Deposited on permanent loan by the Methodist Church of Great Britain from 1978 onwards.
Arrangement: Material up until 1945 has been arranged and listed separately from the later deposit of material for 1945-1950, although this later deposit does include a few records dating from prior to 1945. The style of arrangement is consistent throughout. Papers of the Methodist Missionary Society form a continuous series with the papers of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society. They have been arranged with the 'Home' material first, followed by material coming into London from the overseas missionary districts. Overseas material has been d ... View more
Document: modified_bennett_guide.pdf
Access status: Restrictions Apply
Access conditions: The majority of the collection is only available for consultation on microfiche. In most instances only photographic material, Special Series papers and Home minutes are currently available for beyond 1950.
Copyright: Copyright mostly held by Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes.
User restrictions: For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance
Language: English
Multiple languages
Finding aids: A guide, based in part on Elizabeth Bennett's 'Guide to the Archives of the Methodist Missionary Society', is available in the SCRR (see also 'Document' field above). More detailed lists for some parts of the collection are also available in the SCRR.
Copies: A number of the regional photographs can be viewed on the Internet Mission Photography Archive website - http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15799coll123.
Related material: SOAS holds the Methodist Missionary Society Library, consisting of approximately 7,500 books and pamphlets. The Library includes annual reports, periodicals and lists of missionaries for the Methodist Missionary Society, and the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Primitive Methodist Missionary Society, United Methodist Church and its member churches. Furthermore, magazines for each society are available and of particular note with regard to the Wesleyans and the MMS are: Wesleyan Missionary Notices (1816-1904), Work and Workers in the Missi ... View more
Format: Archive           
Subjects:
Access Points - Person, Corporate & Family Names:
Name Code Person, Corporate or Family Name Type of Entity
GB/NNAF/C197833 Methodist Church Overseas Division Corporate
GB/NNAF/C5766 Methodist Missionary Society Corporate
GB/NNAF/C62180 Primitive Methodist Conference; General Missionary Committee Corporate
GB/SOASNAF/C190 United Methodist Free Churches; Foreign Missions Corporate
GB/NNAF/C6039 Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society Corporate
GB/NNAF/C62089 Methodist Missionary Society; Women's Work Corporate
Access Points - Places:
Place Code Place Name
7729891 Caribbean
1227603 Sri Lanka
1814991 China
7729894 Eastern Asia
7729886 Central Africa
7729889 Eastern Africa
6255149 North America
6255151 Oceania
7729895 Southern Asia
7729896 South Eastern Asia
9406051 Southern Africa
7729885 Western Africa
6255148 Europe
2300660 Ghana
1269750 India
1327865 Myanmar
2328926 Nigeria
953987 South Africa
2635167 United Kingdom