Records of The Salvation Army International Headquarters

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The records of the Salvation Army International Headquarters include material from the following departments and councils:

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  • • Administration Department, 1880-2013
  • • Chief of the Staff's Office, 1913-2013
  • • Editorial and Literary Department, 1888-2013
  • • External Relations Secretary, 1946-2001
  • • Finance Departments and Financial Boards, including the records of the Salvation Army's Central Fund, Social Fund (formerly the Darkest England Fund), and the Property and Audit Departments, 1721-2001
  • General's Consultative Council, 1939-2002
  • • General's Office, 1930-2013
  • • High Council, 1904-2011
  • • Intelligence Office, twentieth century
  • • International Doctrine Council, 1937-2008
  • • Legal Department, 1875-c2000
  • • Migration and Travel Service, 1905-1972
  • • Moral and Social Issues Council, 1980-2006
  • • Overseas Department, 1913-1997
  • • Post-War Relief Department (known as the European Relief Department from April 1945), 1942-1953
  • • Public Relations Department, 1880-2005
  • • Secretary's Department, 1906-1990
  • • Staff Department, 1880-2006
  • • Youth Department, 1904-1997
  • • Zonal Departments (Americas and Caribbean, Africa, Europe, South Pacific and East Asia, South Asia), 1920s-2013

The records of some departments have been fully catalogued; others are awaiting formal arrangement. See online catalogue or enquire for details.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Salvation Army's International Headquarters exists to support the General in his or her work. The General directs Salvation Army operations throughout the world through the administrative departments of International Headquarters, which are headed by international secretaries. The Chief of the Staff, a commissioner appointed by the General to be second-in-command, is the Army's chief executive whose function is to implement the General's policy decisions and effect liaison between departments.

The first International Headquarters of The Salvation Army was located in Whitechapel Road where the Christian Mission Headquarters had been. However, in 1881 the decision was taken to move to a more central location in the City of London and since then International Headquarters has been based at 101 Queen Victoria Street. The building was rebuilt after being destroyed during the Second World War, and a major redevelopment took place between 2001 and 2004. During this period IHQ took up temporary residence at William Booth College, Denmark Hill.

Conditions Governing Access

Partially available for research. Some files are closed under the Data Protection Act or to protect sensitive content. Please enquire for details. Open files can be viewed in the reading room of The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre, open Tue-Fri 9.30-4.00. It is advisable to make an appointment as material may be stored offsite. Tel: 0207 326 7800; email: heritage@salvationarmy.org.uk.

Other Finding Aids

Multi-level descriptions of some Territorial Headquarters collections can be accessed in the International Heritage Centre's online catalogue: http://www.calmview.eu/SalvationArmy/CalmView/. Paper catalogues are available in the reading room of the International Heritage Centre.

Custodial History

Transferred directly from International Headquarters departments to Heritage Centre.