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Papers of Isabel Fleming (1890-1983) and Jessie Service (1888-1958)

Identifier: CSWC 7

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of: diary entries by Fleming describing her arrival and early travel in China (c 1923-1925); memoirs by Fleming and Service describing the months around Pearl Harbour and missionary internment and evacuation (cover 1937-1942); and notes by Fleming on how God reveals Himself (1955).


  • Creation: 1923-1955

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details. This collection is open. [Decision date 17 March 2022]

Conditions Governing Use

Contact the repository for details.

Biographical / Historical

Isabel N. Fleming, M.A., was a Church of Scotland missionary in Manchuria, China and, for a time, in Livingstonia, Malawi. She first went to China in 1923 and worked as a science teacher at Moukden Medical College where she later became warden of the Women's Student Hostel. Along with the other Manchurian missionaries she was forced to leave China in 1942 and, instead of returning to the UK, she went straight to Livingstonia, Malawi where she was based from 1942-1945. She returned to Manchuria in 1947 and later, after she left China for the last time, lived in Edinburgh. Her good friend Jessie Wilson Service went to Manchuria with the Church of Scotland as an evangelist in 1931. She spent some time working in the north of Manchuria and, at the end of 1939, returned to Moukden as YWCA General Secretary. Like Fleming she was in Livingstonia between 1942 and 1945, returning to Manchuria in 1947. She also worked in Livingstonia from 1953 to 1956 then returned to Edinburgh where she died.


1 file


The material is arranged as above. The diary pages are loose and were not in order, as far as possible they have now been arranged in date order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Church of Scotland deposited with the Centre several collections relating to missionaries in China and these papers probably formed part of this deposit.


None expected.

Related Materials

The archives of the foreign missions of the Church of Scotland are held by the National Library of Scotland. They contain correspondence with both women. Several other collections relating to Manchuria have been deposited in the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World. Austin Fulton in Through Earthquake Wind and Fire (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1967) describes the missionary work in Manchuria and includes a list of sources.


The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) the collection itself, (2) Fulton, Austin. Through Earthquake Wind and Fire. Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1967.

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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