Women's Christian Colleges in Madras
Name of creator(s): Friends of the Women's Christian Colleges in Madras British Board of the Women's Christian College, Madras British Board of St Christopher's Training College, Madras British Corresponding Board of the Christa Seva Vidhyalaya, Madras
Administrative/Biographical history: The Women’s Christian College, Madras, was founded in 1915 through the joint action of British and American missionary societies to meet the need to provide education at University level for Indian women. A College Council was established to manage the College, but ultimate control lay with a Board of Governors divided into British and American sections which each contained representatives of the various missionary societies on whose support, financial and otherwise, the College depended. In 1951, the College’s constitution was revised and control of the College was transferred to its Council and Association in India. The Governing Boards were reconstituted as British and American Associate Boards operating as advisory and support bodies. Following a request in 1921 from the Missionary Education Council of South India, the Women’s Christian College established in 1923 a Teacher Training College for Indian women at Nungambaukam known from 1926 as St Christopher’s Training College. Its administrative structure was similar to that of the Women’s Christian College and indeed the personnel of the two institutions’ Boards was largely the same. As with the Women’s Christian College, St Christopher’s College’s Council and Association took over final responsibility for the College in 1951, and its British and American Boards were converted into Associate Boards. The Christa Seva Vidhyalaya was a Missionary Training Centre for Indian women which was opened formally in 1948, following an experimental centre begun in 1945. From the first full control lay with its Association and Board of Management in India. A British Corresponding Board was established, but after 1962, the Associate Board of the Women’s Christian College dealt with the Christa Seva Vidhyalaya. In America, the WCC’s Associate Board had always dealt with the CSV’s affairs. In 1979, following a further revision of the Colleges’ constitutions, the British Associate Boards were dissolved, and thereafter links with the Colleges were maintained on an informal basis through the Friends of the Women’s Christian Colleges in Madras. The Friends held their last formal meeting in 1988.
Immediate source of acquisition:
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: The Collection consists chiefly of the archives of the Colleges’ British Boards, with latterly a few papers reflecting the activities of the Friends. The archives include papers relating to discussions leading up to the foundation of the Women’s Christian College; Minutes of the Colleges’ Councils and Associations, and of their British and American Boards; papers on finance, building appeals and plans, and College staff; correspondence of Secretaries of the British Board with (among others) College Principals and other College Officers, the American Board, and Co-operating Missionary Societies; College reports, journals, newsletters and other publications; and photographs.
System of arrangement: By record series
ACCESS AND USE
Conditions governing access: Access unrestricted
Conditions governing reproduction:
Finding aids: Handlist
Related material: 1. Memoirs of missionaries working in South India, c1930-1980, chiefly on the staff of the Women's Christian College, Madras, St Christopher's Training College, or the Christa Seva Vidhyalaya. Collected by the Friends of the Women's Christian Colleges in Madras in cooperation with the India Office Records. 1 folder. Ref: GB 0059 Mss Eur C413. 2. Memoirs and papers of Margaret Hunt (b 1907), lecturer in the English Department of the Women's Christian College, Madras 1932-43, on her early life and teaching career. 29 files. Ref: GB 0059 Mss Eur F241. 3. Letters from Euphemia Margaret (‘Peggy') Stokes, lecturer at St Christopher's Training College, Madras 1937-60, to her parents and other family members. 21 files. Ref: GB 0059 Mss Eur F304.
Date(s) of descriptions: 18 July 2002