Newbigin, Papers of Lesslie

Reference code(s): GB 0151 DA29
Held at: Birmingham - University of, Information Services, Orchard Learning Resources Centre
Domain: archival
Title: Newbigin, Papers of Lesslie
Date(s) of contents: 1919-1998
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 28 manuscript boxes, containing 99 files, 161 audiocassettes, 3 floppy discs, 2 vols, 3 framed photographs and a commemorative dish


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: (James Edward) Lesslie Newbigin was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1909 and was educated at the Quaker School, Leighton Park, and then at the University of Cambridge. His original area of study had been economics but he abandoned this in favour of theology. He was ordained in 1936 and went out as a Presbyterian Church of Scotland missionary to India that same year. He served in Madras (Chingleput and Kancheepuram) from 1936 to 1946. He played a formative role in the establishment of the Church of South India in 1947 and on its foundation was appointed Bishop of Madras and Ramnad. From 1959-1965 he was General Secretary of the International Missionary Council and then the World Council of Churches, before returning to episcopal work as Bishop of Madras, 1965-1974. From 1974-1979 he taught and researched at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham. He was also Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church. He was the author of a substantial number of publications.

Custodial history: ?, Z deposit of papers was made by Lesslie Newbigin in July 1992. A later deposit was made by his family, in November 1999,after his father's death. Cataloguing of the papers was undertaken by the Special Collections Department, University of Birmingham, in August 2000, as a result of the University of Birmingham's relationship with Selly Oak Colleges endowment trust

Immediate source of acquisition:


Scope and content/abstract: Papers of Lesslie Newbigin comprising personal and family correspondence, 1936-1998, official correspondence, 1919-1998, correspondence and papers relating to publications and research of Newbigin and associates of his, 1935-1997, sermons, 1955-1997, addresses, lectures and associated papers, circa 1952-1996, floppy discs, 1995-1998, print outs from floppy discs, 1995-1998, photographs, 1934-circa 1970s, audiocassettes made/acquired by Newbigin, 1979-1998, press cuttings, 1961-1996, artefacts, 1938, printed pamphlets and printed editions of papers, addresses and lectures of Newbigin, circa 1955-1997, and audiocassettes associated with the life and work of Newbigin, 1996-1998.
The papers relate to the personal and professional affairs of Newbigin, and contain material relating to his experiences as a Church of Scotland missionary in Southern India, the establishment of the Church of South India (CSI) in 1947, and his subsequent CSI appointments, his Secretarial positions on the International Missionary Council and the World Council of Churches, his academic career at Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, his ministry at the Winson Green United Reformed Church, Birmingham, and his publications. The correspondence relating to the personal affairs of Newbigin includes material relating to family matters, and the personal affairs of Newbigin's associates

System of arrangement: The collection is arranged into the following series: personal and family correspondence, official correspondence, correspondence and papers relating to the publications and research of Lesslie Newbigin and associates of his, sermons, addresses, lectures and associated papers, floppy discs, print outs from floppy discs, photographs, audiocassettes made/acquired by Newbigin, press cuttings, artefacts, printed pamphlets and printed editions of papers, addresses and lectures of Newbigin, and audiocassettes associated with the life and work of Newbigin. Thereunder files are largely arranged chronologically


Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Open. Access to parts of this collection is restricted.

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.

Physical characteristics: The collection contains a large number of audiocassettes, and a small number of floppy discs.

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 collection included a large quantity of publications which are now stored and catalogued separately. The papers of Rev Michael Hollis contain material relating to the affairs of the Church of South India (GB 0151 DA52)


Date(s) of descriptions: Created 09/21/2000, modified 09/5/2002 Bassettp

Ancient religions
Magnetic tape recordings
Missionary work
Ordained missionaries
Religious activities
Religious groups
Religious movements
Religious texts
Sound recordings
Visual materials

Personal names
Newbigin | James Edward Lesslie | 1909-1998 | Bishop of Madras and Ramnad

Corporate names
Church of Scotland
Church of South India
International Missionary Council
Selly Oak Colleges | Birmingham,
Winson Green United Reformed Church | Birmingham
World Council of Churches

South Asia
Tamil Nadu
Western Europe