The Archives on the History of Christianity in China was established in 1996 to serve as a research center in Asia for researchers and scholars. Regardless of denomination or nationality, the collection covers both primary and secondary English and Chinese language source materials concerning Chinese Christians, missionaries stationed in China, church history, and other materials pertaining to the history of Christianity in China. Current holdings of the Archives include over 7,200 volumes of correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, monographs and serials. In addition, we also have over 29,000 microform items.
The growth of the Archives was greatly due to the strong support of the Henry Luce Foundation and other donors such as Rev. Carl T. Smith. Rev. Carl T. Smith gave the Archives over 300 manuscripts and monographs including yearbooks and anniversary reports of some Christian churches and organizations in Hong Kong and China, as well as biographies of Christian leaders and missionaries. The rich microform collection and quality equipment in the reading room were acquired with a generous three-year grant of US$120,000 from the Henry Luce Foundation.
There are hundreds of biographies and memoirs in the Archives. Some titles describe the life of prominent missionaries such as Hudson Taylor, James Outram Fraser, Karl Ludvig Reichelt, David Abeel and John Leighton Stuart in China, while others are about influential Chinese preachers and church leaders such as 王 明 道, 倪 柝 聲. These biographies and memoirs are important research materials for the study of evangelism as well as the life of Chinese Christians and missionaries in China.
For those who are interested in the history of Christianity in China between 1950 and 1970, our newspaper clippings on the history and development of religions in China may be very useful. These clippings, which were collected from newspapers published in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, contain a treasure trove of information on Chinese government policy on religions, the Three-self Movement, and the development of churches and seminaries in China for a period of 20 years.
The collection of annual, special and anniversary reports of Hong Kong Christian churches and organizations, which documents their history and various evangelistic activities, provides a systematic overview of the history of Christianity in Hong Kong.
The Archives' growing collection of microform materials includes newspapers, bulletins, monographs, and periodicals published by Chinese churches and Christian associations, as well as archival records of various American and European mission boards, including Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (London) Archives, Church Missionary Society Archives and London Missionary Society Archives, etc. Some titles are: Nineteenth Century Books on China, Archives of the Council for World Mission, 1775-1940, Chinese Christian Yearbook, China Millions, West China Missionary News, American Theological Library Association Serials.