Council for World Mission Library


IDENTITY STATEMENT
Reference code(s): GB 0102 CWML
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies Library
Domain: printed
Title: Council for World Mission Library
Date(s) of contents: c1574-
Level of description: Collection
Extent and medium: Over 13,000 books and pamphlets

CONTEXT

Name of creator(s):
William Lockhart (1811-1896)
Council for World Mission
London Missionary Society

Administrative/Biographical history: The Council for World Mission is a co-operative of 31 Christian denominations world wide, and was established in its present form in 1977. It grew out of the London Missionary Society (founded 1795), the Commonwealth (Colonial) Missionary Society (1836) and the Presbyterian Board of Missions (1847).

During the period after 1945, the work of the London Missionary Society (LMS) evolved from traditional mission fieldwork to a more democratic and decentralised structure based on the development of local churches and local church leadership. This response was brought about not only in answer to so-called 'decolonisation' but also to social and political change and demographic shifts in the post-war years. In 1966 the LMS ceased to exist as a Society and merged with the Commonwealth Missionary Society to form the Congregational Council for World Mission (CCWM). The Presbyterian Church of England Foreign Missions Committee joined with the Congregational Church of England and Wales (a constituent body of CCWM) in 1972 to form the United Reformed Church. This led to a name change in 1973 when the CCWM became the Council for World Mission (Congregational and Reformed). The CWM (Congregational and Reformed) was again restructured to create the Council for World Mission in 1977. This structure was more internationalist, reflecting greater ecumenism and church independence, and the end of Western dominance in the mission field. The CWM today is a global body, which aids resource sharing for missionary activity by the CWM community of churches.

The Colonial Missionary Society was founded in 1836 to work with British colonies, and to provide ministers for communities in Canada and America. In 1956 it changed its name to the Commonwealth Missionary Society, merging with the LMS in 1966.

The Council for World Mission is at present administered as a charity, under a scheme of the Charity Commissioners (comprised on 14 June 1966 and revised 29 March 1977), with the express aim 'to spread the knowledge of Christ throughout the world'. The Council includes members appointed by its constituent bodies, and meets once every two years. An Executive Committee is appointed by the Council, and holds at least two meetings per year. A General Secretary and other officers are also appointed by the Council.

In 2001 a consultation paper, A New Structure of Governance for CWM, was published, which will lead to a structural change in the way in which the Council for World Mission is administered.

Further information on the history of the London Missionary Society can be found in the official histories:
Norman Goodall, A history of the London Missionary Society, 1895-1945 (London: Oxford University Press,1954).
Richard Lovett, The History of the London Missionary Society 1795-1895, 2 volumes (London: Oxford University Press, 1899).
Gales of change: responding to a shifting missionary context: the story of the London Missionary Society, 1945-1977, ed. by Bernard Thorogood (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1994).

For details of related periodical publications, refer to the Scope and content field.

Custodial history: The Library of the Council for World Mission comprises both the General Library of the London Missionary Society, along with works donated by the medical missionary William Lockhart (1811-96). Lockhart’s Library was collected over fifty years, during time spent in China, London and Europe, and includes works in both European and East Asia languages (primarily Chinese). Lockhart donated his Library to the London Missionary Society in 1892.

Immediate source of acquisition: The CWM Library was deposited on permanent loan by the Congregational Council for World Mission (later the Council for World Mission) in 1973.

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Scope and content/abstract: The collection includes works relating to the London Missionary Society and its co-founding bodies, the Commonwealth (Colonial) Missionary Society and the Presbyterian Board of Missions. These include several histories, and LMS related periodicals. The latter include the Annual report of the LMS, Transactions of the Missionary Society (1804-1818), Quarterly chronicle (1815-1832), Chronicle of the London Missionary Society (1822-1950), Juvenile missionary magazine (1844-1894), and News from afar (1895-1939).

Regarding specific LMS missions, the collection includes runs of reports covering whole regions, single missions or single institutions; these are supplemented by accounts from local missionaries, local Conferences and LMS Deputations. The collection also contains biographies of many LMS missionaries and their spouses, both prominent (such as David Livingstone) and less well known. As well as works about the LMS, the collection also includes publications by LMS missionaries, on subjects ranging from evangelism to aspects of the cultures they encountered.

The collection also contains works relating to other Christian missions, such as Russian Orthodox missions, Catholic missions (particularly in East Asia, and including material on the Chinese rites controversy), and Protestant missions (including bodies such as the Church Missionary Society, the Baptist Missionary Society and the Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade).

The collection also contains works on many aspects of the Christian mission: theology and theory; history; geography and atlases; organisation, finance, public relations and evaluation; evangelism and preaching (including hymns and music); relation of Christianity to other religions; cultural and anthropological aspects; special work (to specific ethnic or religious groups; rural, educational, industrial and vocational training; linguistic work; work with women; medical work); missionaries (including women missionaries, vocations, working conditions); interdenominational co-operation and Christian unification; indigenous Church administration and development of local churches.

In addition, the London Missionary Society prepared for its work by building up a large intercultural library on the geography, history, natural history, anthropology, religion, philosophy, literature, science and medicine of the peoples with whom it was to be in contact, contributed to greatly by the missionaries themselves. The collection has good holdings of early works on travel and exploration; translations of Asian classics into European languages; dictionaries and grammars; and the earliest imprints of many Asian, African and Pacific languages. For some languages these missionary publications provide the only known record.

System of arrangement: The Council for World Mission Library is subdivided as follows, following the lines of its historical acquisition:

Part I: Books of the Lockhart Library relating chiefly to China and the Far East, in European and Oriental Languages.
Part II: Chinese printed books of the Lockhart Library, with a few Japanese works and reprints.
Part III: General Library of the London Missionary Society, including European and Oriental books related to foreign missionary spheres, subjects and operations, other than in China and the Far East, and including works donated by Medhurst.

All books in the collection have the prefix CWML.

ACCESS AND USE

Language: Predominantly English, plus around 100 other languages, including c21 Western languages such as French, Latin, German and Italian, and vernacular languages of Asia, Africa, America and Oceania.

Conditions governing access: Unrestricted.

Conditions governing reproduction: No publication without permission of the owner. Apply in the first instance to the Archivist.

Finding aids: All books in the collection have the prefix CWML. The library collection has been catalogued on the SOAS online catalogue, which is also available via Telnet at: lib.soas.ac.uk

London Missionary Society and Goodeve Mabbs, Catalogue of books contained in the Lockhart Library and in the General Library of the London Missionary Society (London: London Missionary Society, 1899).

ALLIED MATERIALS

Related material: The Council for World Mission Archive is also held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Part of the Council for World Mission Library was purchased by the National Library of Australia (NLA) in 1961, amounting to approximately 600 volumes of Chinese publications, and including an important collection of materials on the T’ai P’ing Rebellion. A catalogue to these works is now available from the NLA, and a copy is in the CWM Library at the SOAS. Further details may also be obtained on the NLA's website.

Publication note:
London Missionary Society and Goodeve Mabbs, Catalogue of books contained in the Lockhart Library and in the General Library of the London Missionary Society (London: London Missionary Society, 1899).

DESCRIPTION NOTES

Note: Authority (where required; see Access Conditions) for consultation of the CWM Library may be be sought from the Council for World Mission.

This record was compiled with the aid of:
London Missionary Society and Goodeve Mabbs, Catalogue of books contained in the Lockhart Library and in the General Library of the London Missionary Society (London: London Missionary Society, 1899).
Warwick Harris and Lesley Price, Guide to the Council for World Mission Collections (SOAS Library, 2002).

Date(s) of descriptions: 8th February 2002


INDEX ENTRIES
Subjects
Ancient religions
Anthropology
Biographies
Catholic missionary societies
Congregationalists
Cultural heritage
Customs and traditions
Educational missionary work
Evangelistic missionary work
Geographical exploration
Geography
Indigenous clergy
Indigenous populations
Industrial missionary work
Languages
Linguistics
Medical missionary work
Medical sciences
Mission administration
Mission policy
Missionary societies
Missionary work
Music
Natural history
Orthodox missionary societies
Philosophy
Rites
Rural missionary work
Science
Social environment
Theology
Wives of missionaries
Women missionaries
Women's education

Personal names
Lockhart | William | 1811-1896 | physician and medical missionary

Corporate names
Baptist Missionary Society
Church Missionary Society
Commonwealth (Colonial) Missionary Society
Council for World Mission
London Missionary Society
Presbyterian Board of Missions
Society for the Suppression of the Opium Trade

Places
Africa
Americas
Asia
Canada
Central America
Central Asia
China
East Africa
East Asia
Eastern Europe
Europe
India
Japan
Madagascar
Middle East
North America
Oceania
Russia
South America
South Asia
South East Asia
Southern Africa
USA