|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 journals, a scrapbook, and clippings that Sites collected while in China. The bulk of the material covers his early years in China. This was a foundational period among Protestant missions in China because they were given new access to mission fields, and important mission organizations such as the China Inland Mission were being founded; the fact that Sites supported the indigenization of the church in China during this early period, as revealed in this material, is significant, as this movement only gained widespread support among missionaries decades later. The journals describe his life in Fuzhou as well as trips through the surrounding countryside. Many of the clippings collected in the scrapbook are from articles and published letters written by Sites' wife, Sarah Moore Sites. Others deal with aspects of Chinese culture or Christian religious life.
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: Nathan Sites papers, 1861-1912, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
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
Metal clips and staples were removed from materials and folded items were flattened. Materials were placed in new acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Gregory Adam Scott in 2010, reviewed and updated by Brigette C. Kamsler in 2014 with the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2020.
June 17, 2014 XML Instance Created by Sarah Davis.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-05-28 EAD spot checked and corrected and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Nathan Sites was born on November 6, 1830 in Bellville, Ohio to Robert and Sarah Sites. He graduated from Ohio Wesley an University in 1859, and the next year became a missionary under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He married Sarah Moore on March 6, 1861 and they left for China in June of that year. Sites worked as a missionary in Fuzhou, Fujian province for the rest of his life, joining the movement for a stronger, Chinese-led church and ordaining some of the earliest Chinese protestant ministers. In 1895 he contracted a fever after an active day of preaching and baptizing, and died some days later on February 10. He was buried in the Mission Cemetery in Fuzhou, and a hospital was named in his honor. His journals were compiled into a biography by his wife, and published as "Nathan Sites: An Epic of the East" in 1912.