We are pleased to announce that Oxford researchers now have online access to 14 collections of the Anglican missionary archive, the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG), which have been digitized by British Online Archives. Previously only available in the Weston Library, the digitised material can now be accessed throughout the University and remotely with the Oxford SSO.
The USPG is a UK-based Anglican missionary organisation, founded in 1701, which sent missionaries to many parts of the world and was involved in educational, charitable and medical work as well as evangelization. The material also throws light on social conditions, travel and daily life abroad from the view point of British missionaries and their families.
The digitized material is relevant to British, Commonwealth and global history, covering the 17th to mid-20th centuries. It has been organised into 14 collections which can be found via SOLO or Databases A-Z
Of particular interest to North Americanists are:
- America in Records from Colonial Missionaries, 1635-1928
- ‘Bray Schools’ in Canada, America and the Bahamas, 1645-1900
- Colonial missionaries’ papers from America and the West Indies, 1701-1870
- The West Indies in records from colonial missionaries, 1704-1950
- Canada in records from colonial missionaries, 1722-1952
Early modern and modern source materials
The digitized material dates from 1635 to 1967 and includes letters, journals, reports, minute books, financial records, statistical returns, drawings, leaflets, questionnaires, school records, press cuttings, and printed books and magazines.
Topics covered include:
- the establishment of the Anglican Church in north America
- the American War of Independence
- slavery and its abolition
- the establishment of Christian schools
- indigenous communities
- women missionaries
- the impact of colonialism
Lucy McCann, Senior Archivist, Special Collections, Bodleian Libraries