Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers

Reference code(s): GB 0150 CMS/ACC
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Special Collections Department
Domain: archival
Title: Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers
Date(s) of contents: 1619-1977 (predominantly 1800-1950)
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 359 sub-fonds occupying approximately 26 linear metres


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: Where appropriate, this information is supplied in the sub-fonds level records.

Custodial history: The vast majority of these Unofficial Papers were deposited with the Church Missionary Society and then subsequently transferred to the Special Collections Department in the early 1980s. To date, the Special Collections Department holds the majority of the Unofficial Papers numbered CMS/ACC1 to CMS/ACC 350 with a few exceptions. The following collections have still not been received: CMS/ACC152, 180 (which is closed until 2010), 231, 288, 297, 327. A small number of other Unofficial Papers have subsequently been deposited with other institutions or have been withdrawn by the depositor: CMS/ACC159-160 are with the British and Foreign Bible Society; CMS/ACC280 is in Hull University Library; CMS/ACC250 has been withdrawn by the depositor. In addition, the following numbers are no longer in use: CMS/ACC9, 25, 90, 108, 257, 259, 290, 294. These numbers were allocated by the CMS on receipt of deposits, but the materials were subsequently catalogued with existing Unofficial Papers or were incorporated into the official archives of the CMS, as appropriate.
The Special Collections Department holds only a small number of Unofficial Papers after CMS/ACC350:
CMS/ACC351-357; CMS/ACC359-363; CMS/ACC379; CMS/ACC384; CMS/ACC397; CMS/ACC410; CMS/ACC428; CMS/ACC466; CMS/ACC483; CMS/ACC559; CMS/ACC725-728. Unofficial Papers with the intervening numbers, together with those numbered CMS/ACC729 onwards, are still held by the Church Missionary Society.

Immediate source of acquisition: Where appropriate, this information is supplied in the sub-fonds level records


Scope and content/abstract: This collection, known as the Church Missionary Society Unofficial Papers, comprises an extensive compilation of a large number of privately deposited collections relating to the work of the Church Missionary Society, both at home and through its overseas missions, and to its missionaries and their families. These privately deposited collections complement the official archive of the Church Missionary Society.
These Unofficial Papers include a large number of collections of papers of CMS missionaries and agents and their families which may contain diaries and journals, letters, photographs, manuscript and typescript writings, research papers, printed and other materials. They also include papers of sympathisers not officially connected with the CMS. Significant collections of this type include:
CMS/ACC18: Papers of Bishop Llewellyn Henry Gwynne (1863-1957, missionary in Sudan) c1880-1957;
CMS/ACC21 and CMS/ACC28: Travel journals and photograph albums of Edith Baring-Gould, (daughter of CMS Secretary, Rev B. Baring-Gould), 1881-1941;
CMS/ACC27: Papers of Rev. William Arthur Crabtree (missionary in Uganda and philologist), 1888-c1935;
CMS/ACC36: Journals and letters of Archibald Downes-Shaw (missionary in Africa), 1882-1889;
CMS/ACC81: Venn MSS comprising diaries, biographies and correspondence of the Venn and associated families including papers of Henry Venn (1796-1873, Secretary of CMS) and John Venn (1759-1813, a founder of the CMS), 1619-c 1955;
CMS/ACC82: Papers of Graham Wilmot Brooke (missionary in West Africa), 1883-1892;
CMS/ACC84: Papers of Rev Arthur B. Fisher (missionary in Africa), 1892-1956;
CMS/ACC88: Walker MSS being the papers of the Walker family and particularly of Robert Henry Walker (missionary in Uganda), 1887-1946;
CMS/ACC89: Diaries and papers of Archdeacon Thomas John Dennis (missionary in Nigeria), 1893-1917;
CMS/ACC91:Tucker MSS being the papers of Rev. John Tucker (Secretary of the Madras Corresponding Committee 1833-1847 and Secretary at Headquarters 1847-1852), 1826-1865;
CMS/ACC285: Moule MSS comprising papers of various members of the Moule family including family letters of Adelaide Moule (wife of Rev George Evans Moule, missionary in China, 1858-1875); and journals, circular and other letters of George Herbert Moule and his wife Edith ( missionaries in Japan, 1922-36) 1857-c 1950;
CMS/ACC348: Papers of Augustus Henry Lash (1838-1932, missionary), 1852-1921.
These Unofficial Papers also include collections of records of local CMS associations (supporting groups of CMS members) and associated organisations which may include minutes, financial records, reports and correspondence. They also include records of local associations of other societies with which the CMS has been linked or connected. Collections of this type include:
CMS/ACC260: Records of Derby and Derbyshire Church Missionary Association, 1819-1821;
CMS/ACC309: Records of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, Southport Association 1896-1958;
CMS/ACC328: Records of the Bradford Church Missionary Association 1929-1967;
CMS/ACC306: Records of the Kent Church Missionary Association, and the East Kent Church Missionary Association, 1821-49;
CMS/ACC351: Records of Manchester CMS Association 1930-1971.
These Unofficial Papers also include some collections of research papers relating to the history of the CMS, principally:
CMS/ACC87: Hole MSS being the research papers of Rev. Charles Hole, author of the 'The Early History of the Church Missionary Society', late 19th-early 20th cents;
CMS/ACC318: Research papers of Gordon Hewitt relating to his publication 'The Problems of Success, a history of CMS 1910-1942' (1971-1977).
In addition, the Unofficial Papers include numerous other small personal, family and miscellaneous collections and accessions, some of them consisting of only one or two items.

System of arrangement: Each separate deposit of records - called an Accession - has been given a running Accession number. Each Accession has then been catalogued as a sub-fonds and the papers arranged into one or more series of records in accordance with a classification scheme designed by the CMS for cataloguing these Unofficial Papers. The scheme provides for the following series, each represented by a letter:
A: Administrative papers
C: Correspondence
F: Family papers
O: Official papers
Q: Charity and ecclesiastical papers
T: Title deeds
Z: Miscellaneous papers


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Open Access to all registered researchers unless otherwise indicated in the appropriate sub-fonds level record.

Conditions governing reproduction: Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Finding aids: The catalogues for these Unofficial Papers, to file and item level, are largely available in electronic format on the University of Birmingham Information Services Online Archive Catalogue. Paper copies of all the catalogues are available in the Special Collections Department and at the National Register of Archives in London. The Special Collections Department also holds a combined manual card index, principally of names, to this collection and the archive of the Church Missionary Society.


Related material: The Special Collections holds the official archives of the Church Missionary Society (now the Church Mission Society) (CMS). It also holds the archives of other missionary societies including the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (CEZMS), the Society for Promoting Female Education in the East (also known as the Female Education Society) (FES) and the Bible Churchmen's Missionary Society (now Crosslinks) (MS47).


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 30/05/2002, modified 18/09/2002


Personal names
Baring-Gould | Edith | 1881-1941 | diarist and daughter of B. Baring-Gould
Crabtree | Rev. William Arthur | 1888-c1935 | missionary and philologist
Dennis | Archdeacon Thomas John | fl. 1900 | missionary
Downes-Shaw | Archibald | fl. 1885 | missionary
Fisher | Rev Arthur B. | 1892-1956 | missionary
Gwynne | Bishop Llewellyn Henry | 1863-1957 | missionary
Hewitt | Gordon | fl. 1970 | historian of the Church Missionary Society
Hole | Rev. Charles | fl. 1900 | historian of the Church Missionary Society
Lash | Augustus Henry | 1838-1932 | missionary
Moule Edith | fl. 1930 | missionary
Moule | Adelaide | fl. 1860 | missionary wife
Moule | George Herbert | 1857-c1950 | missionary
Tucker | Rev. John | 1826-1865 | Church Missionary Society Secretary
Venn | Henry | 1796-1873 |Anglican missions administrator and theorist
Venn | John | 1739-1813 |a founder of the Church Missionary Society
Walker | Robert Henry | 1887-1946 | missionary
Wilmot Brooke | Graham | fl. 1890 | missionary

Corporate names
Church Missionary Society
Church of England Zenana Missionary Society

East Asia