Copies of the Diaries of William G. Sloan

  • Reference
      GB 133 WGS
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      CD/ROM 1 CD/ROM containing record of 37 volumes Diaries
  • Location

Scope and Content

The diaries contain William G. Sloane's detailed commentary on his activities whilst working as a Brethren Missionary on the Faroe Islands. They are of value to historians of missionary activity,and to those interested in the history of Brethrenism and the development of Christianity on the Faroe Islands.

Administrative / Biographical History

William G. Sloan was a Brethren missionary to the Faroe Islands. He was born on 4th September 1838 to Nathaniel and Elizabeth Sloane of Dalry, Ayrshire. He worked as a storeman in the Calder Iron Works, Longriggend, which he left in 1861 because of his objection to selling alcohol. He eventually took on a job for the Religious Tract and Book Society of Scotland, who sent him to Shetland in 1863 to sell books, tracts and Bibles, and to undertake itinerant preaching. In 1863 he went to a meeting at a Brethren chapel and became convinced of the need to break with the established church. He visited the Faroes in 1865 and delivered an open air service to fishermen, deciding at the time that there was a need to return and focus his energies on the Faroes people. He returned in 1866 commended by Brethren from Motherwell, abandoning his work for the Tract Society, instead 'living by faith' and making a home in Tórshavn. For the next ten years or so he worked between Britain, Orkney, Shetland and Faroe, with occasional visits to Norway. He made trips to Iceland in 1884 and 1887. Early Brethren converts in Faroe met with opposition from the islanders, but eventually Sloane became an established and respected member of the community, successfully establishing a Brethren presence among the islanders. He married Elspeth Isaksen in 1881. He died on 4th September 1914.


The diaries are reproduced in chronological order.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Faroese National Archives, W.U. Hammershaimbsgota 24, Torshavn-Foroyar, Faroe Islands.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The diaries are held on CD/ROM and can be consulted using a personal computer. The pages of the diaries have been reproduced as coloured JPEG images.

Archivist's Note

Permission to reproduce the diaries was given by Samal T.F. Johansen at the Faroese National Archives.

The reproduction of the diaries was made possible by a donation from Captain Gullak Madsen.

Conditions Governing Use

The diaries are the property of the Faroese National Archives and copyright rests with them. The archivist at the Faroese National Archives has given permission for copies of pages to be made for research purposes only.

Related Material

There is a file relating to the activities of Mr Angus and Mrs Kirsten McKinnon who worked as Brethren missionaries in the Faroe Islands in the twentieth century, in the Echoes of Service Papers (GB 133 EOS) held at the John Rylands University Library.

Location of Originals

The diaries are held at the Faroese National Archives, W.U. Hammershaimbsgota 24, Torshavn-Foroyar, Faroe Islands.


Fred Kelling, Fisherman of Faroe: William Gibson Sloan (Gota: Leirkerid Pubns., 1993)

Fredk. A. Tatford, That the World May Know: Volume 8. West European Evangel (Bath: Echoes of Service, 1985)

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

Corporate Names