International Missionary Council and Conference of British Missionary Societies: Africa
Name of creator(s):
Administrative/Biographical history: The archive dates from the period after the World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh in 1910. The Conference of British Missionary Societies was founded in 1912 with over 40 member missionary societies of various denominations. The International Missionary Council was founded in 1921 and its members comprised interdenominational associations of missionary societies in various countries and interdenominational field bodies. The two bodies shared premises at Edinburgh House, near Sloane Square, London, until the IMC became part of the World Council of Churches in 1961.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited with the archive of the Conference of British Missionary Societies in 1977.
CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
Scope and content/abstract: Joint archive, largely dating from 1910-1945, of the International Missionary Council and Conference of British Missionary Societies, relating to co-operative missionary endeavours in Africa (chiefly British Africa, but also including areas under Belgian, Portuguese and French control).
General files on Africa include records on missionary work and related issues including land rights, colonial administration, diet, co-operative organizations, customs including polygamy, initiation, and witchcraft, medical work, and alcohol traffic; the IMC and its relation to African mission councils; International Institute of African Languages and Cultures; population and health in Africa; Africa Education Group, relating to educational policy, provision and finance, including women's education, training of educational missionaries, African marriage customs and their relation to Christian practice, adult education, and missionary work in rural areas; High Leigh (Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire) Conference (1924) on educational missionary work in Africa; Le Zoute Conference (1926) on missionary work in Africa; educational policy; Advisory Committee on Education in the Colonies, relating to Colonial Office policy (including British colonies outside Africa), the topics including women's education, use of the vernacular and bilingualism, teacher training, language teaching, social and economic development, finance, indigenous art, biology, superannuation, English examinations, and higher education teaching materials, with sections relating to particular African colonies.
Files on East Africa include general records on British colonial policy and administration, agriculture, and Swahili; and education in East Africa. Files on Kenya include records on the Kenya Missionary Council and Christian Council of Kenya; the political situation and land question; indigenous labour and slavery; Indian population; and educational policy, practice, finance, the conscience clause in religious education, women's education, and educational advisor; and correspondence on missionary work and related issues. Files on Tanganyika include records on the Tanganyika Missionary Council, relations between different missionary societies, indigenous life, colonial administration, German and other missions; Tanganyika Mission Property Trust; and education in Tanganyika. Files on Uganda include records on land tenure, education, including women's education, and Swahili; and missionary societies in Ruanda-Urundi. Files on Abyssinia comprise records on missionary work and religious freedom, including the Italian occupation.
Files on West Africa include general records on education, including the Phelps Stokes Commission. Files on the Gold Coast include records on education, colonial administration, the Basel Mission, the Bremen Mission and other missionary societies, the Christian Council of the Gold Coast, medical and educational missionary work. Files on Sierra Leone include records on education. Files on Nigeria include records on the Christian Council of Nigeria and other Christian and missionary organisations and on education. Files on the Cameroons include records on various missionary societies. Files on French Africa include records on education.
Files on French West & Equatorial Africa include records on missionary activity and education. Files on the Congo include records on the Congo Protestant Council, missionary activity and conferences, religious freedom and interdenominational relations including Roman Catholicism; Belgian government policy regarding missions and the Brussels Bureau representing Belgian missions; education; and missionary work of various nations.
Files on Portuguese Africa include records on missionary work, including medical work, and interdenominational relations; religious liberty, Portuguese government policy, and the Lisbon Centre for liaison. Files on Portuguese West Africa include records on the Angola Evangelical Alliance, Portuguese colonial administration, and various missionary societies. Files on Portuguese East Africa include records on the Portuguese East Africa Evangelical Missionary Association, work of various missionary societies, religious liberty and Portuguese government policy.
Files on Central Africa and Nyasaland include records on colonial administration, work of missionary societies, land tenure, indigenous labour and slavery, and on colonial educational policy in Nyasaland. Files on Northern Rhodesia include records on the General Missionary Conference of Northern Rhodesia, colonial administration, mining, and education; and on the United Missions in the Copperbelt, including its foundation, policy, annual reports, finance, miners' unrest, property, education policy, women's work, social welfare, literature and literacy, British Committee, correspondence with other societies, reorganisation, Team/Field Committee, and personnel. Files on Southern Rhodesia include records on the South Rhodesia Missionary Conference, indigenous affairs including land tenure, education, indigenous preachers, and colonial administration. Files on South Africa include records on the General Missionary Conference of South Africa and the Christian Council of South Africa, missionary work, indigenous affairs including land tenure, interethnic relations, and education. Files on South and South West Africa includes records on German missions and indigenous affairs. Files on the protectorates of Swaziland, Basutoland and Bechuanaland include records on education and the transfer of the protectorates to South Africa.
There are also files on the Egypt Mission Property Trust.
System of arrangement: Subfonds of the International Missionary Council and Conference of British Missionary Societies.
ACCESS AND USE
Language: Mainly English; some French, German and Portuguese.
Conditions governing access: Unrestricted.
Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without written permission. Apply to the Archivist in the first instance.
Finding aids: Unpublished handlist (2 volumes) and database.
Related material: The School of Oriental and African Studies holds a microfiche copy of joint archives of the International Missionary Council and Conference of British Missionary Societies: India; records of the Christian Literature Bureau for Africa and its succession by the International Committee on Christian Literature for Africa; the archive of the Conference of British Missionary Societies; and a microfiche copy of the archives of the International Missionary Council.
Copies: Published on microfiche by IDC Publishers, except for the papers on the United Missions in the Copperbelt (Northern Rhodesia).
Revised by Caroline Brick on behalf of the Mundus Project, November 2002.
Date(s) of descriptions: May 2002; revised November 2002.