|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one alphabetical series.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials compiled by the Missionary Research Library on a variety of missionary higher education projects in China, including Christian Missionary education. Materials include publications, reports, clippings, correspondence, minutes, surveys, and book lists.
Burke Library record group:
Missionary Research Library Archives: MRL6, China
Using the Collection
Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.
Item description, MRL6: Missionary Research Library collection on higher education institutions in China, 1857-1957, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
MRL6: National Christian Council of China Records, 1919 – 1950, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was assembled from records in the Missionary Research Library before its 1976 closure. These records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976. The papers in folder 10 were donated by the China Institute in America, founded in 1923 in New York City.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
The contents of this collection have been retained as a specialist subject area source as established by MRL. Some papers will be seen to be marked as originating from other MRL collections. Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. Acidic items were separated from one another by interleaving with acid-free paper as needed. Any items in an advanced state of deterioration were placed in Mylar envelopes. The finding aid was created by Gregory Adam Scott in 2009, reviewed and updated by Sarah Davis in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.
2022-01-31 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Missionary Research Library was created by John R. Mott in 1914 after the World Missionary Conference, held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1910. It was created in order to be both a resource for missionaries, and a means to document the missionary movement. With funding from John D. Rockefeller, Mott stated, "We are now ready to…secure the most complete and serviceable missionary library and archives in the world. I desire it to be thoroughly interdenominational, ecumenical and international. It should be made preeminently rich in source material." It was located at the Madison Avenue headquarters of the Foreign Missionary Conference of North America. By the 1920s, funding was becoming scarce; therefore it was moved to the Brown Tower of the Union Theological Seminary, New York City in 1929. The Library was an important center of information and research. Active missionaries would consult the material of the Missionary Research Library while on furlough. Much of the Library's success was due to the director and librarian, Charles H. Fahs. Upon his retirement in 1948, the MRL's financial difficulties continued until it was integrated with the Burke Library's collections in 1976. In 2004, the Burke Library was fully integrated with the Columbia University Library system.
T.C. Chao, 1888 - 1979: Chao studied at Vanderbilt University and promoted an indigenous Chinese Christianity. United Board for Christian Colleges in China: Formed in 1945, by 1950 it had incorporated nearly every Christian higher education institution in China. After 1950, while prevented from operating within the People's Republic of China, it remained active in other Asian countries. Yale-in-China / Nurse-in-China: The Yale-in-China association was incorporated in 1934, and they established a college first in Changsha 長沙, Hunan province 湖南 and later in Wuhan 武漢, Hubei province 湖北. The Nurse-in-China program was centered on Xiangya Hospital 湘亞in Changsha. China Christian Educational Association: Organized in 1890, this association met once every three years to discuss education in China, and in 1912 organized an advisory council consisting of delegates from associated groups. Y.C. Yang (Yang Yongqing), 1892 - 1956: Yang studied at Soochow University (東吳大學) in China and George Washington University in the U.S. National Christian Conference of China: Held in Shanghai in May of 1922, with Myfanwy Wood, 1882-1967, Y.C. Cheng (Cheng Yingyi) and Edwin C. Lobenstine as chairpersons. The conference created the National Christian Council of China to continue the work of the China Continuation Committee. Bailey Willis, 1857 - 1949: A geological engineer and university lecturer, he led an expedition to China in 1904-1905, the findings of which were published in 1907 as Research in China, and he conducted a field study in East Asia in 1937. John Mott, 1865 - 1955: Mott was the chair of the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a leader of the World Student Christian Federation and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948. China Continuation Committee: This committee was formed in 1913 in Shanghai to connect the Edinburgh Committee (a legacy of the 1910 World Missionary Conference), mission boards in the West and missionaries in China. In 1922 the committee dissolved as the National Christian Council was formed and took over its mission.