The collection primarily comprises papers relating to Douglas Harman's medical missionary service at Changchow Union Hospital, Changchow [Zhangzhou], China in 1939-1950, and his service at the LMS hospital in Mbereshi, Northern Rhodesia [Zambia] in 1952-1955.The bulk of the Changchow material comprises loose photographs, glass slides, film strips, and a large collection photographs mounted on display boards which may have been used in publicity for the London Missionary Society.
The non-photographic material includes minutes and other papers relating to the Three Missions Council (some of it pre-dating Harman's arrival in Changchow); reports, statistics and other papers relating to the Changchow Union Hospital; a circular letter and an article by Douglas Harman; and later correspondence between Douglas Harman and other former Changchow missionaries and their families, including the families of Dr Ahmed Fahmy and Dr Wilfrid Busby. Some maps and two brochures relating to Zhangzhou Municipal Hospital relate to later contacts with Zhangzhou by the Harman family.
Most of the material relating to Harman's service in Mbereshi is also photographic, including loose photographs, negatives and 35mm slides mainly of scenes in and around the mission and hospital at Mbereshi, including photographs of hospital personnel, patients and medical cases. Some of the photographs can be related to accompanying lists of photographs which Harman sent back to his family in Britain. The non-photographic material includes circular letters from Harman at Mbereshi, a report for Mbereshi hospital, magazine cuttings, and a small number of commemorative booklets.