Broomhall, Anthony James

Reference code(s): GB 0237 Edinburgh University, CSCNWW 26
Held at: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh
Title: Broomhall, Anthony James
Date(s) of contents: c ?1890-1960s/70s
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 2 boxes (574 slides plus indexes)


Name of creator(s): Broomhall, Anthony James (1911-1994)

Administrative/Biographical history: Anthony James Broomhall (Jim), China Inland Mission missionary among the Nosu (Yi) people in Szechwan, Kweichow, Yunnan and Nosuland, China, and the Mangyan people of Mindoro in the Philippines, was from a family with strong missionary connections in China. The grandson of Benjamin Broomhall and great-nephew of Hudson Taylor he was born in Chefoo, China in 1911. He was educated in China and in Bath, England, then trained at London Hospital graduating as a doctor in 1937. Broomhall had been interested in the Nosu of south-west China since reading a book about them as a teenager and, in 1938, he sailed for China with the CIM. At first his movements were restricted partly by the need to learn the language but also by the Japanese occupation and he spent some time at the CIM hospital at Langzhong. In 1942 he married Theodora Janet Churchill and they began pioneer work amongst the Nosu but the war with the Japanese soon forced them to flee to India. They were able to return in 1946 and continued their evangelical and medical work among the Nosu, especially in Liangshan, until, with the arrival of the communists, they and their four daughters were placed under house arrest. In 1951 they were expelled but Broomhall continued to work for the mission. He explored the possibility of medical work in Thailand which led to three CIM hospitals being established there. In 1953 he and his wife began pioneering among the Mangyan people of Mindoro in the Philippines where they stayed for 11 years. A gifted writer, Broomhall published several works most notably China's Open Century, a seven volume history of Christianity in China since the mid 19th century written during his retirement. Despite ill health he returned to China twice in 1988 and in 1991 when he met the descendants of the Nosu people with whom he had worked. He also raised money for hospitals in China and donated medical equipment and textbooks. He died on 11 May 1994 in England.

Custodial history: Broomhall donated slides of L. C. Wood at the same time but these were subsequently treated as a separate collection.

Immediate source of acquisition: The material was deposited at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by A. J. Broomhall c 1986. Ralph Covell listed the collection in 1992.


Scope and content/abstract: The collection consists of black and white and coloured slides and lantern slides relating to China, Taiwan, Malaya, the Philippines and Japan and to the China Inland Mission. The slides show a wide variety of town and country scenes, and images of people and places, festivals and occupations, religion, and church and mission work. There is a complete index listing each slide.

System of arrangement: The material has been arranged by country with the China material in the first box and the other Asian slides in the second box. Within the boxes the slides are grouped according to country or theme as detailed on the indexes.


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Contact the repository for details.

Conditions governing reproduction: Contact the repository for details.

Physical characteristics: The images on the slides and lantern slides can be seen without the need for special equipment but projectors are needed to see them at full size.

Finding aids: A handlist and complete index is available.


Related material: The archives of the China Inland Mission (Overseas Missionary Fellowship) are held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University; Broomhall wrote extensively on China including books about the Nosu. The slides of L. C. Wood, also a missionary with the China Inland Mission were deposited by Broomhall at the same time.


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

Note: The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions ed. Gerald Anderson (New York: Simon and Schuster Macmillan, 1998), (2) East Asia Millions (OMF, October-December 1994), (3) Pray For China Fellowship (OMF, September 1994)

Date(s) of descriptions: 18 June, 2001


Personal names
Broomhall | Anthony James | 1911-1994 | physician, missionary and historian

Corporate names
China Inland Mission