South Asia Missionary Archives Guide



A preliminary guide to archival collections relating to American Protestant missionary activity in South Asia (including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Ceylon/Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, and Pakistan) - with a focus on the holdings of undergraduate liberal arts colleges in the United States.


Female students at Ewing Christian College, Allahabad. From the Rice Collection. (courtesy Special Collections, The College of Wooster Libraries.)

Over the years, scholars have benefited greatly from Archie R. Crouch's project to identify and describe archival materials related to Christian missionary activity in China, which resulted in the monumental Christianity in China: a scholars' guide to resources in the libraries and archives of the United States and is now carried forward by the Ricci Roundtable. This web site is a first step toward providing comprehensive information about archival collections documenting missionary activity in South Asia. Compiled by Margo Warner Curl of the College of Wooster, these first sets of descriptions are primarily of holdings of undergraduate college archives, and in some cases, seminary or denominational archives housed at the colleges.
More about the project....


After a service at Jumna Church, Ewing Christian College, Allahabad, late 1930s. From the Rice Collection. (courtesy Special Collections, The College of Wooster Libraries.)

Protestant missionaries first went to South Asia from Denmark and Great Britain in the 1700s. The first American missionary, Adoniram Judson, went to Burma in 1813 with the support of the American Baptist church. American Presbyterians arrived in South Asia in the 1830s; Methodists in the 1850s; and most of the mainstream denominations were well established by 1920. The early to mid-1970s brought a substantial reduction in activity by mainstream denominations such as Presbyterian, Lutherans, Methodist, and Mennonites. Many evangelical groups, however, including the Seventh Day Adventists, maintain active missionary work in South Asia .

Because of the difficulty in distinguishing foreign missionary from indigenous Christian activity, both have been included in this guide.


Presbyterian missionaries in Allahabad, India, 1941. From the Rice Collection (courtesy Special Collections, The College of Wooster Libraries.)

Browse the holdings of the following repositories:

Anderson University Iowa Wesleyan College
Andrews University Linfield College
Bates College Lipscomb University
Bethel College (KS) Malone College
Bucknell University Manchester College
Calvin College McPherson College
Catawba College Midland Lutheran College
Cincinnati Christian University Mount Holyoke College
Colby College Muhlenberg College
College of Wooster Nebraska Wesleyan University
Concordia College, NY University of Northwestern St. Paul
Dana College Nyack College
Dartmouth College Oberlin College
Denison University Ohio Wesleyan University
DePauw University Pomona College
East Carolina University Seattle Pacific University
Eastern Mennonite University Southern Methodist University
Elizabethtown College Sterling College
Evangel University Swarthmore College
Florida Christian College University of the Pacific
Freed-Hardeman University Vassar College
Furman University Wake Forest University
Goucher College Wesleyan University
Guilford College Western Kentucky University
Haverford College Williams College
Hope College  
  How to contribute information

Click here for a consolidated listing of repository holdings, which can be used to search by keyword. (NB: very large file)

This site is hosted by the Yale Divinity School Library
Last modified: 3/12/07