Korean Mission, Records of the

Reference code(s): GB 0151 DA24
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Orchard Learning Resources Centre
Domain: archival
Title: Korean Mission, Records of the
Date(s) of contents: c1900-1987
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 55 boxes, 3 volumes of archival material, including periodicals, photographs, and audiovisual recordings.


Name of creator(s):
Korean Mission
Korean Mission Partnership

Administrative/Biographical history: In response to appeals from the neighbouring churches in China and Japan, the Archbishop of Canterbury established the Anglican diocese of Korea and consecrated Charles John Corfe as its first Bishop in 1889. Before leaving England in 1890, Bishop Corfe founded the Korean Mission (KM). He also began the publication Morning Calm, originally as a quarterly intercession paper. The work of the KM was funded by an annual grant of 600 from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, and for many years the diocese depended on this block-grant for the salaries of its European workers. To help train priests for the KM Corfe founded the Korean Missionary Brotherhood, led by Father Alfred Kelly. The Brotherhood provided some of the first priests for Korea, but Father Kelly found that his Brotherhood (later known as the Society of the Sacred Mission) was shaping into a Religious Community and Bishop Corfe waived any further claim to services of its members in Korea. In 1892, the Sisters of the Community of St. Peter, Kilburn (later at Woking), accepted an invitation to work amongst women in Korea. In 1925 they helped to establish an indigenous Community, the Society of the Holy Cross. The KM's medical work was supported by the Navy through the 'Hospital Naval Fund', until 1941.

Bishop Corfe arrived at In'chon (Chemulpo), Korea, in 1890. By 1891, a hospital and the first Anglican Church had been built at In'chon, and a year later a church at Seoul. The first Korean baptisms took place in 1897, including Mark Kim of Kanghwa, later to be ordained as the first Korean Anglican priest (in 1915). In 1910, Korea became subject to Japanese rule, and Bishop Mark Napier Trollope returned to Korea after his consecration to find himself Bishop of the Japanese Christians in his Diocese as well as of the Koreans. At this time Japanese-speaking priests and lay-workers were added to the staff. In 1922, Trollope began the composition of a Korean liturgy. In 1925, a cathedral for Seoul, the Church of St Mary & St Nicholas, was consecrated. At the time of Trollope's death in 1930, there were 20 native priests in Korea. During the Second World War, hostility towards the British meant that by early 1941 most of the foreign staff of the KM had been withdrawn from Korea. However, the Anglican Church in Korea survived and KM staff gradually returned at the end of the War in 1945. However, the Diocese had been divided at the 38th parallel, with the USSR in control of the North and the USA military government in control of the South. Communications with North Korea were severed after the 1950-1953 Korean War, although some Korean priests were permitted to continue their ministry.

Diocesan Bishops of Korea between 1889 and 1965 have included Charles John Corfe (1889-1904), Arthur Beresford Turner (1905-1910), Mark Napier Trollope (1911-1930), Alfred Cecil Cooper (1931-1954), and John Charles Sydney Daly (1955-1965). The Diocese was divided in 1965, when Paul Ch'on-Hwan Li (Paul Lee) was consecrated Bishop of Seoul and John Charles Sydney Daly was translated to the newly created Diocese of Taejon. The Diocese of Busan was created in 1974, out of the south-eastern part of Taejon. On the 16th April 1993, after 103 years as an extra-provincial church under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Korea became an autonomous province within the Anglican Communion. The Korean Mission was renamed The Korean Mission Partnership.

At home, the Bishop of Korea was represented by his commissaries. By 1900, Home Organisation had evolved a more formal structure with the creation of the Central Committee, which met annualy. The Executive Committee met monthly, reporting to the Central Committee. Various sub-committees handled area such as finance (1909-) and education. From its foundation, the work of the KM was supported by associated organisations, including the Association for Prayer and Work in Korea, the Hospital Naval Fund (1889-), the Children's Fund, the Education Fund, and St Peter's Association for Foreign Missions (1891-).

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The first deposit of papers was made by the Korean Mission, now known as the Korean Mission Partnership, in October 1987. A second deposit was made in 1993.


Scope and content/abstract: Records of the Korean Mission deposited by the Mission's home office, which reflect the role of the Organising Secretary as the central point of contact for Mission staff. Includes minutes of the Central and Executive Committees, 1900-1979; ledgers and cash books, 1949-1967; indexes of financial contributors to the work of the Mission; indexes of orphans and 'adopters', involved in the Mission's sponsorship scheme; correspondence files; Korean bibles, scripture, liturgy, prayer and hymn books; printed material including annual reports, 1889-1910, and issues of the Mission's quarterly magazine Morning Calm, 1891-1987; press cuttings; over 2,000 photographs, slides, films and sound recordings.

System of arrangement: The papers have been grouped into minutes; account books; indexes of contributors and sponsors; correspondence files; religious texts (Korean); publications; press cuttings and audio-visual material, including photographs, slides and sound recordings. Lists of missionaries, lay workers and church dedications can be found towards the end of the sequence, with ephemera.


Language: English and Korean.

Conditions governing access: Access to parts of the collection is restricted. This includes correspondence, which is embargoed for 30 years. In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 records relating to the Korean Mission's adoption scheme, which include personal data relating to individual orphans and sponsors, are closed for the lifetime of the individual where known, or 75 years.

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: special-collections@bham.ac.uk). Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Physical characteristics: Photograph albums are fragile and should be handled with care.

Finding aids: A catalogue of this collection to file and item level is available on the University of Birmingham Information Service Online Archive Catalogue. A paper copy of this catalogue is also available for consultation at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre and in the Special Collections Department reading room.


Related material: The Orchard Learning Resource Centre also holds papers of Alfred Cecil Cooper, Bishop of Korea 1931-1954 (GB 0151 DA59) and papers of Constance Trollope and Mark Napier Trollope, Bishop of Korea 1911-1930 (GB 0151 DA60)


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 07/26/2002, modified 09/5/2002 and December 2002.

Anglican missionary societies
Denominational missionary societies
Devotional texts
Disadvantaged children
Disadvantaged groups
Evangelistic missionary work
Film media
Film strips
Financial administration
Financial statements
Home mission administration
Indigenous lay workers
Information media
Liturgical texts
Mission administration
Mission policy
Missionary societies
Missionary work
Overseas/foreign mission administration
Photographic slides
Prayer books
Protestant missionary societies
Religious activities
Religious groups
Religious organizations
Religious texts
Sacred texts
Sound recordings
Visual materials

Personal names

Corporate names
Church of England | Diocese of Korea
Korean Mission
Korean Mission Partnership

East Asia
Korea DPR
Korea R