Algiers Mission Band

Scope and Content

Archives of the Algiers Mission Band, including Minutes of the Executive Committee, Home Advisory Council and Algiers Mission Band Association, Outlook and Literature Committees; Algiers Mission Band Journals; Annual Reports/Resumés; internal magazines ('El Couffa'); travel journals; personal papers of Lilias Trotter, including diaries, paintings, notes, manuscripts of books and booklets, devotional writings, correspondence; scrapbooks; photographs; publications of the Algiers Mission Band, including tracts, booklets (some published jointly with the Nile Mission Press); publications for supporters at home including 'A Thirsty Land' (quarterly magazine). Candidates papers and personnel files are closed and have been retained by Arab World Ministries for the present.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Algiers Mission Band was formally constituted in 1907 with its headquarters in El Biar, Algiers. The work of the mission was begun in 1888 by three British women including Isabella Lilias Trotter, who led the work of the Algiers Mission Band until her death in 1928.

Field work was co-ordinated by an Executive Committee (first called the Field Committee, later the General Committee), comprising initially Band members based in the mission field. In due course, an Advisory Council was established at home in the UK. The Home Advisory Council was, as its name suggests, an advisory body, responsible for managing funds in the UK, interviewing candidates, arranging deputation work and liaising with supporters and churches, but the last word rested with the Executive. In time, there were friends of the Mission in other European countries, and a corresponding secretary in the USA.

As a significant literature ministry developed on the Field, and members of the mission acquired property in Algiers which was subsequently bequeathed to the Band, the need arose for a trading company. This was the Société Dar Naama, registered in Algiers. The Algiers Mission Band published a significant amount of literature published in Arabic, French and English, and there was a strong collaboration with the Nile Mission Press in Cairo.

On the UK front, and again with the development of literature work and the acquisition of property, the Algiers Mission Band Association Ltd was set up in 1959 as a registered company. Its responsibilities grew with the increasing legal requirements for mission agencies and charities. When the Société Dar Naama was dissolved, shares in the company (largely held by missionaries) were made over to the AMBA Ltd.

After the Second World War, discussions about a possible merger with a sister agency, the North Africa Mission, began. The merger took place formally in 1965, but the Algiers Mission Band Association carried on some years more, in order to dispose of properties, administer legacies, etc.

[See attached document for more detailed administrative history; copy also available in the Special Collections Reading Room]

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited at SOAS by the Arab World Ministries on 20th February 2017.

Other Finding Aids

Lists of Algiers Mission Band personnel have been compiled from the sources and are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room at SOAS. These include lists of members of the Algiers Mission Band, Home Advisory Council, Algiers Mission Band Association, leaders of the AMB, short-term service workers, AMBA, members of the American AWMB and lists of personnel at specific mission stations.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Arab World Ministries

Related Material

Material relating to Lilias Trotter can be found online at which includes a list of primary repositories. This includes material at Special Collections, Buswell Library, Wheaton College Archives and Special Collections; Ruskin Library & Research Centre, University of Lancaster, UK; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK; Harold Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin.

Materials relating to the Algiers Mission Band, including material for the US Branch, can be found at Yale Divinity Library and the Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University.