Church of Scotland Collection (General, Malaysia, Southern Africa and Jerusalem).

Reference code(s): GB 0237 Edinburgh University, CSCNWW 42
Held at: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh
Title: Church of Scotland Collection (General, Malaysia, Southern Africa and Jerusalem).
Date(s) of contents: (1928-1963) 1917-1988
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2 boxes and 7 volumes


Name of creator(s): Foreign Mission Committee the Church of Scotland

Administrative/Biographical history: The Foreign Mission Committee (later Overseas Council then Board of World Mission and Unity) of the Church of Scotland was responsible for the Church's mission work around the world. In 1824 the Church's General Assembly resolved to send its first missionary to India and appointed Alexander Duff who arrived in Bombay in 1830. Other missionaries were sent to Calcutta (1830), Poona (1834), and Madras (1837). The Disruption of 1843 which saw the separation of the Free Church of Scotland from the main Church caused the loss of most missionaries and the missionary spirit, as the work continued but under the umbrella of the Free Church. The United Presbyterian Church, formed in 1847, inherited some existing missionaries in the West Indies and in Calabar, Nigeria and by the 1870s was active in Jamaica, India, South Africa, Japan and Manchuria, China. The Church of Scotland resumed its missionary work in 1857 in the Punjab and in the 1870s established its first stations in Nyasaland (Malawi, 1876) and China (1878). In 1900 the Free Church joined with the United Presbyterians to form the United Free Church but remained separate from the Church of Scotland. Co-operation between the two Churches was secured in some areas, in India, for example, joint colleges were formed in Madras and Calcutta. However it was not until 1929 that the Free Church and the Church of Scotland joined as the Church of Scotland.

Custodial history: The history of the church in Perak came to the Church of Scotland via the Largs and District Historical Society.

Immediate source of acquisition: The collection was presented to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by the Church of Scotland in the 1990s.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection consists of: (1) General material: volume of accounts for stations in India, China, Africa, Saudi Arabia and Jamaica and showing other miscellaneous expenses (1944-1947); and letter registers recording letters received from missionaries in various stations (1950s-1960s). (2) Malaysia: draft history and notes on the Presbyterian Church in Perak between 1928 and 1963. (3) Southern Africa: papers and notes on the Church and sanctions (1986); press cuttings, papers and a letter from the Moderator to Botha on the Sharpeville Six (1988); papers and reports of church groups concerned with South Africa (1979-1988); and press releases issued by the Namibia Communications Centre in London (1985-1988). (4) Jerusalem: material on the Scottish Churches' Memorial, St Andrews Church and Hospice (1917-1948).

System of arrangement: The material is arranged as described above.


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Contact the repository for details.

Conditions governing reproduction: Contact the repository for details.

Finding aids: A handlist is available.


Related material: The archives of the foreign missions of the Church of Scotland are held by the National Library of Scotland, some of the material in that collection may duplicate this material. The Centre has many pamphlets and journals relating to missions some of which came from the Church of Scotland and has other collections of archives relating to the Church of Scotland, including large sets of slides and lantern slides.


Archivist's note: Compiled by Caroline Brown, Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, Edinburgh University.

Note: The administrative history was compiled using the National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts (Volume VI, Edinburgh: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1984)

Date(s) of descriptions: 7 August, 2001


Personal names

Corporate names
Church of Scotland

South Africa