Titus Papers

Reference code(s): GB 1835 MTT
Held at: Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide (formerly known as the Henry Martyn Centre)
Domain: archival
Title: Titus Papers
Date(s) of contents: 1910-1994
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 12 boxes of personal papers, books, diaries, reviews, articles, cuttings and photogaphs


Name of creator(s): Pickering, Carol
Titus, Murray Thurston (1885-1964)
Titus, Olive Glasgow (1884-1967)

Administrative/Biographical history: Murray Thurston Titus was born in 1885 in Batavia, Ohio. He joined the Methodist Church in his youth and in 1910 he and his new wife Olive, nee Glasgow, were accepted by the church for missionary service in the United Provinces in Northern India (later Pakistan). Murray was ordained in 1913. Their first appointment was at Reid Christian College in Lucknow where they taught history, English and philosophy. The years between 1913 and 1941 were spent in district and educational work in several locations in the United Provinces, including Lahore. They returned to Lucknow when Murray was appointed principal in 1941. Apart from short periods of furlough in the USA, they remained in India until 1951. In 1911 Murray Titus first encountered the American Islamicist and missionary, Samuel Zwemer. Under Zwemer's influence he began a serious study of Islam and, in the face of the emerging worldwide challenge to Christianity from Islam, he worked to encourage understanding between Christians and Muslims by urging missionaries and Indian Christians to read as widely as possible about Islam. To this end, he was the co-founder of the Henry Martyn School for Islamic Studies in Lahore (now at Hyderabad). He later became Honorary Secretary and Executive Secretary for work amongst the Muslims on the National Christian Council of India, Burma and Ceylon. On their return to the USA in 1951, Titus was appointed professor of Comparative Religions in a seminary in Westminster, Maryland. He died in 1964 and Olive three years later.

Custodial history: The collection has been brought together by Carol Pickering, daughter of Murray and Olive Titus. Initial donations of papers were made to the Henry Martyn Centre in 1994 and 1997 by Pickering. In 1999 Pickering joined the Henry Martin Centre as assistant archivist and brought with her further boxes of material which had been previously lodged with the Centre for South Asian Studies in Cambridge.

Immediate source of acquisition: Donations of papers made to the Henry Martin Centre in 1994, 1997 and 1999 by Carol Pickering, daughter of Murray and Olive Titus.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection can be divided into two parts. Firstly there are the personal letters, photographs etc. relating to the life and work of Murray and Olive Titus in Lucknow, Lahore, Nagpur and other locations in the United provinces of North India (now Pakistan). In particular there is a continuous set of letters addressed to their parents in the USA dating from 1910 to 1929. There are also diaries, including one written by Carol Pickering, describing visits to the Holy Land and Egypt and travels around India as well as comments on the political situation in the region before and after partition. The second group of records reflects the interest and work of Murray Titus in the Islamic religion and includes books written by him such as The history of Islam (1959) and Islam for beginners (1935) as well as many articles by Titus, Eli Stanley Jones, H. D. Griswold, L. Bevan Jones and others.

System of arrangement: The 12 boxes are divided into correspondence (boxes 4,5,6,9-26,28,31), books, articles and reviews (boxes 1,2,3,7), photographs (box 27) and miscellaneous materials (boxes 8,29,30,31,32,33). In addition, letters and photographs are scattered through most of the boxes.


Language: English, Romanised Urdu and Persian Urdu.

Conditions governing access: One box of later letters is closed until 2015. For access to remaining material please refer to the repository.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Finding aids: A detailed handlist is available.


Copies: Can be provided


Note: Compiled using:
Biographical dictionary of Christian missions, ed. by Gerald H. Anderson (New York: Simon & Schuster Macmillan, 1998).

Date(s) of descriptions: April 2002

Mission Societies
Mission schools
Missionary work

Personal names
Cragg | Albert Kenneth | 1913-2000 | Islamic scholar
Donaldson | Dwight Martin | 1884-1976 | Presbyterian missionary
Griswold | Hervey DeWitt | 1860-1945 | Presbyterian missionary
Jones | Eli Stanley | 1884-1973 | missionary to India and global evangelist
Jones | Lewis Bevan | 1880-1960 | Baptist missionary to Indian Muslims and Principal of the Henry Martyn School of Islamic Studies, India
Mott | John Raleigh | 1865-1955 | International church statesman
Pickering | Carol | daughter of Murray and Olive Titus and Henry Martin Centre archivist
Titus | Murray Thurston | 1885-1964 | missionary teacher and Islamic scholar
Titus | Olive Glasgow | 1884-1967 | missionary and teacher in India 1910-1951
Zwemer | Samuel Marinus | 1867-1952 | Doctor | founder of the Arabian Mission of the Reformed Church of America

Corporate names
American Methodist Church
Henry Martyn School of Islamic Studies
Methodist Episcopal Church of North India
Newman School of Missions in Jerusalem

South Asia
United Provinces