Missionary Studies

Research Source

A broad selection of missionary collections, representing a global range of Christian missions, churches and denominations.

These primary sources are a hugely important resource for the study of missionary work, educational work, medical work, evangelism, political conflict, and the emergence of indigenous churches. The collections are truly global in scope, with Africa, East and South Asia, Australasia and the Pacific, and the Americas all well-represented. The sources will be of interest to scholars in a range of fields, from missiology to colonial history and anthropology.

Highlights include:

  • Papers of Reverend George Brown (1835-1917), Methodist missionary and ethnographer, whose personal papers are an important and fascinating record of Polynesian and Oceanic indigenous cultures
  • Records of female missionaries and women’s missionary organisations. Women’s missionary activity is an important area of study; missionary work being an early area of empowerment for women, as the call of religion gave women the right to travel to the furthest reaches of the known world – often unchaperoned.
  • Papers and records of a variety of missionary organisations, including:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    •       Mission of the United Presbyterian Church
    •       Sudan United Mission
    •       Church of Scotland Mission
    •       Regions Beyond Missionary Union
    •       United Presbyterian Church Mission

Key Data


  • 2019

Period Covered

  • 19th and 20th centuries

Material Types

  • Organisational records
  • Personal papers
  • Correspondence
  • Journals, travel writing and diaries
  • Photographs
  • Ephemera
  • Artefacts
  • Periodicals
  • Pamphlets