Michael Poon, October 2004
The China Pamphlets in the London Missionary Society Archives are an important source for understanding the activities of Protestant missionaries from congregational traditions in the nineteenth century.
In the early nineteenth century, the Malaya archipelago and the surrounding regions served as a base for European and American missionary thrusts into China. The most dominant group was missionaries from the London Missionary Society (LMS) (founded 1795). Education, printing, and study of Chinese culture and dialects formed the main missionary strategies of the time. After the treaty ports were opened after the First Opium War in early 1840s, the missionary base shifted from Penang, Malacca, and Singapore to Foochow and Shanghai. Nevertheless, the educational institutions that they left behind contributed to the birth of Singapore and Malaysia in the course of history.
The LMS Archives are now housed in the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) in the University of London, United Kingdom. Trinity Theological College possesses China Pamphlet 3, 11, 48, 49, and 69. They consist mainly of Annual Reports of the educational institutions of the time, and the early works produced by the printing presses in Malacca and Singapore. Inventory list of the Pamphlets are enclosed in the following pages. I have also included a consolidated list of the China Pamphlets held in SOAS.
I am grateful to SOAS for providing the College with a Handlist to the London Missionary Society/Council for World Mission Archive Collection (CWM/LMS) 1764-1940. It is granted on the condition that it would not be further reproduced without explicit permission of SOAS. Readers in our Library are welcomed to consult this exhaustive Guide.
Consult A. Wylie’s Memorial of Protestant Missionaries to the Chinese giving a List of their Publications and Obituary Notices of the Deceased (Shanghae: American Presbyterian Mission Press, 1867) and Gerald Anderson’s Biographical Dictionary of the Christian Missions (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998) for information on the key figures in the period.
Pamphlet 3 | Pamphlet 11 | Pamphlet 48 | Pamphlet 49 | Pamphlet 69
For further reading: (available in the Special Collection Room of the College Library)
1. Ismail, bin Ibrahim. Early Malay Printing in the Straits Settlements by Missionaries of the London Missionary Society. M.A. Thesis. London: University of London, 1980.
2. O’Sullivan, Ronnie Leona. A History of the London Missionary Society in the Straits Settlements (c.1815-1847). Ph. D. Thesis. London: SOAS, 1986. (Map of Straits Settlements, LMS Agents in the Straits Settlements 1815-1847)
3. Su, Ching. The Printing Presses of the London Missionary Society among the Chinese. Ph. D. Thesis. London: School of Library ad Information Studies, University of London, 1996. (LMS Chronology)