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Church Missionary Society

Collection Details

Church Missionary Society held at Cambridge University Library, Royal Commonwealth Society collections [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

The photographs depict countries in which the Church Missionary Society operated. They include: Sudan, Egypt, Jerusalem, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iran, India, Pakistan, Ceylon/Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The majority of the photographs and slides date from after the Second World War, but there are some earlier ones of considerable historical interest. Among these, of Asian interest, are 32 slides of China, apparently taken from 19th century drawings (XXXI).

History and development

This collection, from the Church Missionary Society's Photo Bureau, was presented to the Royal Commonwealth Society through Miss Rosemary Keen, Archivist of the Church Missionary Society, in 1988.


Numerous images of identified hospitals, schools, missionaries and clergy at work - including portraits and scenes from rural and urban life.

General arrangement and access regulations

The Church Missionary Society photograph collection falls into three main categories: Prints (numbered I - XVII), Negatives (numbered XVIII - XXIII) and Slides (numbered XXIV - XXXV).

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia.


China, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan.


Agriculture, Anthropology, Development, Education, Medicine, Religion.

Names relevant to the collection:

Church Missionary Society,

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Visual materials (includes photographs, prints, drawings, videos & films).

Total size of collection

2093 photographic prints, 395 negatives (with 14 prints), 621 glass slides,

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

0 to 0 AD

Collection Catalogue Information


A two-volume, detailed, typescript catalogue is available for consultation in the Manuscripts Reading Room of Cambridge University Library.

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