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H-ASIA Date: August 25, 1995 1)************************************************************** Subj:RE: H-ASIA: Missionary orphanages in China query From: Ryan F Dunch <firstname.lastname@example.org> This is in response to Professor McCord's query about sources for missionary orphanages in China, which was posted Jul 31. I have been away for a few weeks, but I note that no responses to this query have appeared on the list, so I will offer some ideas. The sources for this topic would be very diffuse, since virtually every mission in China had some kind of orphanage work. The visiting professor would be well advised to concentrate on a certain area of China (perhaps the area covered in his previous work) in order to narrow his focus to a handful of missionary societies and their archives and publications. The missionary societies active in each area of China can easily be determined by reference to the 1922 _Christian Occupation of China_. In my work on Protestant missions in the northern half of Fujian, I have found references to orphanages run by each of the missions, but little systematic material on them. One difficulty is that the work of running orphanages usually fell to women missionaries, and the archives of the women's societies are less complete than for the regular mission boards. Certainly this is true for the Methodist Episcopal mission (archives in Drew University, Madison, NJ), which has letters home from only a handful of the women missionaries, and for the Church of England Zenana Mission Society, the records of which were decimated by war-time bombings of London. Another problem is getting information on the Catholic orphanages, which are important, obviously. In "my" part of Fujian the Catholic mission active was the Spanish Dominicans, and their records are in Spain (and in Spanish! or Latin?). Overall, if the visitor could choose a region of China in which the Catholic mission was carried on by the Maryknoll mission or some other American society, and in which the active Protestant missionary societies were the ones whose records are on microfilm (the London Missionary Society, the English Presbyterians, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and I think some others), or whose archives are located close to GWU, his time here would be best used. After spending time in the Methodist archives, I came away with the impression that the missionary periodicals are actually more important sources than I had realized, despite their upbeat tendency, particularly for the women's side of the Protestant missions. There are many of these. A good source of bibliography is Pui-lan Kwok's _Chinese Women and Christianity_, (American Academy of Religion, 1992), and also Jane Hunter's _Gospel of Gentility_ (Yale U.P., 1984). Another type of source which could be crucial for this topic is the personal papers of women missionaries, which Jane Hunter used extensively in the book mentioned above. These papers often give more detailed information than the administrative-type correspondence which comprises the bulk of the archives of the mission societies. If the visitor can determine which women were involved in the orphanages he wants to study, Crouch's bibliography can then tell him if their personal papers have been deposited anywhere in this country. The Yale Divinity School has a large collection of such papers, and the University of Oregon has many, also. Some of the former women's colleges e.g. Mt Holyoke have files on their graduates who became missionaries, including personal papers. The major library collections of mission publications in the US are the Day Missions collection in the Yale Divinity School, and the Missionary Research Library in Union Theological Seminary, New York. Hope this is helpful. Ryan Dunch ================================================================= To post to H-ASIA simply send your message to H-ASIA@msu.edu For vacations send message to email@example.com on message line type set h-asia nomail upon return simply type set h-asia mail