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Collection of Joseph Ross (1890-1969)

Identifier: CSWC 3

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of letters from and articles about missionaries who knew Ross, who were connected with the Boy Scout Association or who were associated with Aberdeen. Much of the material was collected by Ross for use in his Sunday school classes, but some is more personal, many of the articles are cutting from Life and Work or other missionary publications, and there are some photographs. There is only a small amount on each missionary: Gertrude Becker, Earl L. King, H. R. Ferger, C. E. Tyndale-Biscoe, Elizabeth Hewat, Helen Hewat, Herbert Torrance, W. Idris Jones, Robert Calderwood, W. H. Watson, James Dewar, Johanna Tocher, Eric Liddell and Albert Schweitzer. There is also correspondence with those associated with the Boy Scout Association in India (1922-1931) and with the Grenfell Association (1920s-1940s) and there are two files of general press and missionary cuttings and articles.

Content warning: within the collection, there is some inappropriate language, some accounts of religious and gender-based abuse, and some racist images.


  • Creation: 1920-1962

Language of Materials

English, Hindi Chinese

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details.

Conditions Governing Use

All files have been screened and are open to public access.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Ross was Organising Officer and Deputy Camp Chief of the Boy Scout Association in Central Provinces (Madhya Pradesh), India in the early 20th century, with his headquarters at Jubbulpore (Jabalpur). He was seconded to the YMCA and involved in other forms of youth work, coming into contact with many missionaries who became his friends. He had previously been Scout Commissioner for Aberdeen and returned there in 1924(?) when he left India. He found it difficult to find scouting work and returned to his original career as an accountant but also began taking Sunday school classes at Holburn West Church. He collected as much information as he could find on missionaries associated with Aberdeen and encouraged these and other missionary friends to write him letters and send bulletins that he could read and discuss with his classes. Ross died circa 1967.


4 Files


The material is arranged as above, with annotations by Ross.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material was deposited at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by Joseph Ross.


None expected.

Related Materials

Ross also donated several pamphlets and the papers of George and Isabel Kerr to the Centre library.


The biographical history was compiled using the collection itself.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379