|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in one series in original order.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains a 306-page typewritten manuscript history of the ABCFM missions in North China from 1935 to 1960, compiled by Matthews in 1967 and including a number of additional handwritten notes.
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: Harold Shepard Matthews papers, box #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
MRL 12: American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions records, 1878-1958, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Harold Shepard Matthews papers, Hoover Institution Archives.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Formerly part of the independent Missionary Research Library (MRL), these records were accessioned by the Burke Library at the time of the MRL's closure in 1976.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Gregory Adam Scott in 2010, updated by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2021.
2021-09-09 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Harold Shepard Matthews was born in Hull, Iowa in 1894. In 1916 he received his B.A. from Grinnell College in Iowa, and in December of the following year married Grace Hazel Waters. In 1920 he attained an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and in 1922 he, his wife, and their young son Alden traveled to China under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). They spent their first year in Beijing 北京 studying Chinese, after which they worked in Dezhou 德州, Shandong 山東 province at the Grinnell in China school. In 1923 they had another son, Homer Burtis Matthews. In 1930 Harold Shepard Matthews was awarded a B.D. from Chicago Theological Seminary, with the thesis "Dr. Sun Yat Sen and his Three Principles for the People." From 1930 to 1933 the family was stationed in Tianjin 天津, and in 1934 were transferred to Fenzhou 汾州, Shanxi 山西 province. In 1937 the family returned to the United States on furlough, and a year later Harold returned to China alone. In 1942 his book Seventy-Five Years of the North China Mission was published in Beijing, and in that same year he was repatriated to the U.S. on the MS Gripsholm. From 1944 to 1953 he served as China secretary at the ABCFM headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1967 his typewritten manuscript Some Historical Notes Pertaining to The Experiences of the North China American Board Mission, 1935 - 1960, a continuation of his earlier published history, was completed in Boston. Matthews died on May 14, 1971 in Claremont, California. His son Dr. Alden Ewart Matthews worked as a missionary in Fujian province from 1947 to 1950, and in Japan from 1952 to 1986. In 2007 Dr. Matthews published My Three Worlds, a history of his family's experiences in East Asia.