Gurney Letters


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0165 0127
Held at: Middle East Centre, St Antony's College
Domain: archival
Title: Gurney Letters
Date(s) of contents: 1937-1955
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 96 folios.

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s): Gurney, Betty (d 1981)

Administrative/Biographical history: Betty Gurney was born in Adelaide, Australia. She qualified as a teacher, and in 1937 married, in Isfahan (Iran), David Gurney, Church Missionary Society missionary teacher at Stuart Memorial College for Boys. David Gurney, also Australian, was later ordained and became Archdeacon in the Diocese of Iran. In 1947 the Gurneys discovered and adopted an Iranian daughter, Katayun Fereshtah. There followed a period of service in Egypt in the 1950s before returning to Iran. David Gurney died in Isfahan in 1974. Betty Gurney retired to Adelaide where her Iranian daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons were living. She died there in December 1981.

See also Gurney's obituary in Bible Lands 21, no 1 (Spring 1982).

Custodial history: In the possession of Mrs Chester Wilmot

Immediate source of acquisition: Received from Mrs Wilmot via Sir Denis Wright, October 1990.

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract: Original and typescript copy letters (1937, 1944-1949, 1953-1955) from Betty Gurney to her friends Mrs Wilmot (Edith or Maidie) and Mrs Wilmot’s mother, Mrs Irwin. The letters recount Betty Gurney's daily life in Isfahan, and the discovery (7 June 1947) and upbringing of Gurney's adopted Iranian daughter, Katayun Fereshtah, as well as Church Missionary Society routine and daily life in Cairo, 1953-1955.

System of arrangement: Chronological.

ACCESS AND USE

Language: English.

Conditions governing access: Open.

Conditions governing reproduction: No restrictions on photocopying or quotation other than statutory ones.

Finding aids: Listed in the Middle East Centre Guide to the Private Papers Collection.

ALLIED MATERIALS

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note: Based on descriptions prepared by Clare Brown, former archivist at the Middle East Centre.

Date(s) of descriptions: September 2002.


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects

Personal names
Fereshtah | Katayun | daughter of Betty and David Gurney
Gurney | Betty | d 1981 |

Corporate names
Church Missionary Society

Places
Africa
Asia
Cairo
Iran
Isfahan
Middle East
North Africa