Sargant Collection

Scope and Content

This collection comprises miscellaneous circular letters and printed material relating to mission work in South India and to the Church of South India. This material was largely collected by the Right Reverend Norman C. Sargant, as a Methodist missionary in Mysore and later as Bishop of Mysore. It also includes material collected by Rev A. H. Dammers and presented to Sargant. Although this collection does not include circular letters of Sargant himself, the materials were probably used by him when writing his memoirs in the 1970s.

The collection comprises circular letters from Methodist missionaries in South India, 1932-1969, printed material, including annual reports, other reports, and printed orders of service relating to establishments associated with mission work in South India, 1931-1976, publications of the Methodist Missionary Society, 1934-1981, and miscellaneous publications relating to South India and South Indian mission work, 1911-1975.

Administrative / Biographical History

Administrative/Biographical History

Norman Carr Sargant (b. 1909) trained for the Methodist ministry and went to India as a missionary in 1931 where he worked with the Methodist Mission in Mysore. He was chosen to represent the Mysore Methodists at the inauguration of the Church of South India in Madras in 1947. In the Mysore Diocese, Methodists were in the majority in the new Church of South India: of the total Christianity community, 17,000 belonged to former Methodist circuits, 4,500 to Anglican parishes and 9,500 to the South India United Church. After the death of the first bishop of Mysore, Premaka Gurushantha, in 1950, Sargant was appointed the next bishop and was consecrated in 1951. He was Bishop of Mysore until 1972 when he returned to England. During his retirement he wrote his memoirs which include details about the Mysore State and the Methodist Mission and the political and ecclesiastical events which led up to Indian independence and the creation of the Church of South India in 1947 and to the beginnings of the Mysore Diocese.

Reference: Reference: Typescript memoirs of Sargant, A Missionary in Mysore, 1978 . A copy of this is available at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre, q283.5487092SAR.


The collection is arranged into four series: circular letters from Methodist missionaries in South India, printed material relating to establishments/organisations associated with mission work in South India, Methodist Missionary Society publications, and miscellaneous printed material.

Access Information

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all bona fide researchers. All papers held at the Orchard Learning Resources Centre will be viewed at the Birmingham University Information Services, Special Collections Department. Please contact the University Archivist for further information.

Acquisition Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers were received by Selly Oak Colleges Library as a gift from the Rt. Rev. Norman C. Sargant. The date of the first deposit of papers is unknown; the second deposit of papers was made in 1981. The collection was then transferred to the Orchard Learning Resources Centre which was opened in 1997 following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges Library and the Westhill College Library.

Other Finding Aids

Finding Aids

Please see full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

Following the merger of the Selly Oak Colleges and the University of Birmingham in 1999 the custodial ownership of collections belonging to the Selly Oak Colleges and held at the Orchard Learning and Resource Centre (OLRC) was transferred to the University. These collections now form part of the University's Special Collections Department and are available for consultation at the Main Library on the University's Edgbaston Campus.

Related Material

The University of Birmingham, Special Collections Department holds a rich collection of archives relating to missions, charities and other religious and ecclesiastical organisations and individuals.