International Committee on Christian Literature for Africa (Christian Literature Bureau for Africa)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records, 1920-1963, of the Christian Literature Bureau for Africa and its succession by the ICCLA (International Committee on Christian Literature for Africa, part of the International Missionary Council), comprising early papers, 1920-1929, including correspondence; minutes, 1929-1958; records of the American Section, 1924-1959; accounts and related papers, 1928-1958; finance papers, 1948-1959; policy papers, 1929-1959, including its winding-up; papers relating to personnel, 1947-1956; papers relating to Secretarial travel by Margaret Wrong and C de Mestral in Africa, Europe and north America, 1933-1959; photographs of West Africa, 1933, and Southern Africa [1936]; papers of Margaret Wrong (Secretary), 1935-1947, including notes for addresses, reviews, articles on subjects including colonial development, personal photographs, letters, and papers, 1949-1965, relating to her death (c1949) and memorial fund; reports, surveys, etc, 1923-1957; papers relating to Books for Africa series and to Listen, 1931-1963; papers relating to the publication Daystar, 1948-1957; lists of books received, especially vernacular, 1930-1957; African language publications, 1930-1951; papers relating to Christian literature for Muslims, 1932-1959; papers relating to school service book, 1938-1953; manuscripts received, 1933-1957; papers relating to hymns publication, 1957-1963; papers relating to literacy [1935]-1959; papers on territorial series, 1927-1959; complete set of Books for Africa series, 1931-1963; complete set of Listen, 1932-1957; series (some incomplete) of published works: Little Books for Africa, African Home Library (comprising texts on the Bible and Christian faith, biography, allegories and stories, family, health and land, government and industry, countries and customs, science and education), and the French edition Bibliotheque de la Famille Africaine, and African Features; specimen periodicals published in Africa, 1950s; card index to titles for Books for Africa books reviewed and card index to titles and authors in the ICCLA library.

Administrative / Biographical History

Missionary literature work in Africa was stimulated by the International Missionary Council conference on the Christian mission in Africa, held at Le Zoute in 1926. The Christian Literature Bureau for Africa was founded in 1929, with a full-time secretary and three sectional committees: British, Continental and American. It had close relations with both the International Missionary Council and the Conference of Missionary Societies of Great Britain and Ireland (CBMS). It had its office in Edinburgh House (no 2 Eaton Gate, London, near Sloane Square station), the premises of the CBMS. The Christian Literature Bureau became part of the International Missionary Council as the International Committee on Christian Literature for Africa in 1953. In 1957-1958 its operations were transferred to Africa, although activities which could not then be transferred passed to the CBMS, for instance the periodical Books for Africa (1931-1963), which listed and reviewed publications of potential usefulness in Africa.

Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted

Acquisition Information

Deposited in 1979

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist and database.

Archivist's Note

Originally compiled in 2002 for AIM25 project. Revised by Rosemary Seton, Archivist, SOAS. Sources:J T Hardyman and R K Orchard, Two minutes from Sloane Square: a brief history of the Conference of Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland 1912-1977 (London: CBMS, 1977), pp 28-9.

Conditions Governing Use

No publication without prior written permission. Apply to SOAS Archives in first instance.

Related Material

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds records of the Conference of British Missionary Societies (Ref: CBMS); joint archives of the International Missionary Council/Conference of British Missionary Societies relating to co-operative missionary endeavours in Africa (original files) and India (microfiche copy) (Ref: IMC/CBMS); and microfiche copy of the archives of the International Missionary Council (Ref: IMC).

Geographical Names