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Church of Scotland (General, Malaysia, Southern Africa and Jerusalem) Collection

Identifier: CSWC 42

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of: (1) General material: volume of accounts for stations in India, China, Africa, Saudi Arabia and Jamaica and showing other miscellaneous expenses (1944-1947); and letter registers recording letters received from missionaries in various stations (1950s-1960s). (2) Malaysia: draft history and notes on the Presbyterian Church in Perak between 1928 and 1963. (3) Southern Africa: papers and notes on the Church and sanctions (1986); press cuttings, papers and a letter from the Moderator to Botha on the Sharpeville Six (1988); papers and reports of church groups concerned with South Africa (1979-1988); and press releases issued by the Namibia Communications Centre in London (1985-1988). (4) Jerusalem: material on the Scottish Churches' Memorial, St Andrews Church and Hospice (1917-1948).


  • Creation: 1917-1988


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

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Conditions Governing Use

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Biographical / Historical

The Foreign Mission Committee (later Overseas Council then Board of World Mission and Unity) of the Church of Scotland was responsible for the Church's mission work around the world. In 1824 the Church's General Assembly resolved to send its first missionary to India and appointed Alexander Duff who arrived in Bombay in 1830. Other missionaries were sent to Calcutta (1830), Poona (1834), and Madras (1837). The Disruption of 1843 which saw the separation of the Free Church of Scotland from the main Church caused the loss of most missionaries and the missionary spirit, as the work continued but under the umbrella of the Free Church. The United Presbyterian Church, formed in 1847, inherited some existing missionaries in the West Indies and in Calabar, Nigeria and by the 1870s was active in Jamaica, India, South Africa, Japan and Manchuria, China. The Church of Scotland resumed its missionary work in 1857 in the Punjab and in the 1870s established its first stations in Nyasaland (Malawi, 1876) and China (1878). In 1900 the Free Church joined with the United Presbyterians to form the United Free Church but remained separate from the Church of Scotland. Co-operation between the two Churches was secured in some areas, in India, for example, joint colleges were formed in Madras and Calcutta. However it was not until 1929 that the Free Church and the Church of Scotland joined as the Church of Scotland.


2 boxes (7 volumes)


The material is arranged as described above.

Custodial History

The history of the church in Perak came to the Church of Scotland via the Largs and District Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was presented to the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World by the Church of Scotland in the 1990s.


None expected.

Related Materials

The archives of the foreign missions of the Church of Scotland are held by the National Library of Scotland, some of the material in that collection may duplicate this material. The Centre has many pamphlets and journals relating to missions some of which came from the Church of Scotland and has other collections of archives relating to the Church of Scotland, including large sets of slides and lantern slides.

Also within the ArchivesHub the Edinburgh University Library collection of Records of the Church of Scotland General Assembly may be of interest.


The administrative history was compiled using the National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts. Vol. 6. Edinburgh: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1984.

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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