Gibson, Betty D

Reference code(s): GB 0237 Edinburgh University New College Library MSS GIBS
Held at: Edinburgh University New College Library
Title: Gibson, Betty D
Date(s) of contents: 1907-1969
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 4 boxes


Name of creator(s): Gibson, Betty D.

Administrative/Biographical history: Betty D. Gibson was one of the secretarial staff of the International Missionary Council (IMC) in which she played a significant role acting as secretary and administrator for both the IMC and for Joseph Oldham. A graduate in French and German, in 1916 she joined the staff of Oldham's Continuation Committee which had been set up after the 1910 World Missionary Conference. She made several trips overseas for missionary conferences or to investigate the state and extent of missionary activity in various countries. She frequently wrote letters home, or kept diaries and notes of her visits and findings, some of which survive in this collection.

Custodial history: Not all of the surviving Gibson papers are in this collection. Gibson gave some of her papers to Katherine Bliss who was researching a life of Joseph Oldham.

Immediate source of acquisition: The collection was presented to New College Library by Betty Gibson in 1979.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection consists of letters (1928-1938) from Gibson to her family written while on missionary business in Europe, Palestine, Africa, and India; notes made by Gibson on African missions visited, on their activities, histories and records, and on meetings about missions (1933-1944) and on continental missions (c 1937-1948 including financial status); circulars and printed reports by the International Missionary Council and the Conference of Missionary Societies, and on Nyasaland and Leopoldville (1959-1960); pamphlets on Africa, Christianity, race and colour questions (1907-1958); sketches and photographs of Africa (c 1933); and a German missionary bibliography and German periodicals (1931-1969).

System of arrangement: The material is arranged in four boxes, the first (GIBS-01) contains letters from Gibson to her family and printed circulars; the second (GIBS-02) notes by Gibson; the third (GIBS-03) printed pamphlets and sketches; and the fourth (GIBS-04) German periodicals.


Language: English and German

Conditions governing access: Contact the repository for details.

Conditions governing reproduction: Contact the repository for details.

Finding aids: The Index to Manuscripts held at New College Library mentions the collection. A handlist is filed in the New College Inventory of Manuscripts under MSS GIBS.


Related material: New College Library also holds the papers of Joseph Oldham, the founder and secretary of the International Missionary Council. The collection includes material such as letters and journals created by Betty Gibson and added by her to the Oldham archive when his biography was being written. The National Library of Scotland has an extensive missionary collection including some Gibson correspondence.


Archivist's note: The biographical history was compiled using: (1) information from the collection. (2) Faith on the Frontier Keith Clements (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999).

Note: The biographical history was compiled using: (1) information from the collection. (2) Faith on the Frontier Keith Clements (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1999).

Date(s) of descriptions: 7 July 2000

Interdenominational cooperation
Missions, German

Personal names
Gibson | Betty D | administrator for the International Missionary Council
Oldham | Joseph Houldsworth | 1874-1969

Corporate names
International Missionary Council