Robert James Wilding Collection

  • Reference
      GB 133 RJW
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.5 lm
  • Location
      Collection available at John Rylands Library, Deansgate/ Collection available at University Archive and Records Centre, main University Library.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of copies of various items belonging to Will Wilding the son of Robert Wilding, including the birth certificates of Robert and his wife Martha. It contains a copy of his military service certificate, autobiographical notes, translation notes and correspondence relating to missionary activities. It also contains a hymn book in an African language and a collection of photographic negatives, mostly of images taken by Robert Wilding.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert James Wilding was born on 27 September 1888 to Charles Robert Wilding a Liverpool dock labourer and his wife Isabella. After leaving school he worked as an errand boy before joining the Royal Navy in1906, serving until 1912. He eventually became a missionary making his way to Koni Hill in the Belgian Congo in 1915. In 1917 he moved to Bunkeya and Mulongo, eventually settling in Kabumbulu in the Lufira valley. On a visit to France in 1922 to study the French language he met Martha Vaunders; they were married in February 1923 and returned to the Congo together. Kabumbulu was to become a noted bush hospital after Dr Julian Hoyte joined Wilding in 1926. Robert undertook some translation work into the Luba language with John Clarke, working on the conversion of the passages of the Bible between Genesis and Dueteronomy which was published in 1948. In 1932, Robert, Martha and their three children moved to Capetown in the interests of their children's education, returning to Britian in 1938. During the war years they concentrated their energies on evangelical work amongst service personnel. In 1952, they moved to Vancouver, Canada, where Robert died in 1956. Martha died in 1968.


The collection was arranged into the following:

  • Official Documents
  • Notes
  • Correspondence
  • Photographic Negatives
  • Hymn Book
  • Painting

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the UML to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Acquisition Information

Will Wilding

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Custodial History

Donated to the Christian Brethren Archive at the University of Manchester Library by Will Wilding the son of Robert Wilding in June 2016.


None expected.

Related Material

There is a collection of correspondence realting to Robert and Martha Wilding in the Echoes of Service Papers

GB 133 EOS

Location of Originals

Originals of photocopies are held by Will Wilding, PO Box 18174 Rpo, Kerrisdale, Vancouver BC V6M 4L3.


W.T. Stunt et al (eds.), Turning the World Upside Down (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1972)

Fredk A Tatford, That the World May Know. Vol 6. Light over the Dark Continent (Bath: Echoes Publications, 1984)

Personal Names

Corporate Names