Scrapbooks relating to Dr Ruth Massey

Scope and Content

Three scrap-books, compiled by members of the Massey family, containing letters, telegrams, cards, printed reports, photographs and drawings relating to Ruth Massey's training at the Medical College for Women in Edinburgh from 1893 to 1899, and her subsequent life and career as physician in charge of the women's hospital at Wuchang, China from 1900 to 1928. A fourth scrap-book is devoted to photographs and other materials documenting the participation of the Massey family and others at the Keswick Conventions between 1894 and 1902.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Ruth Massey, the younger daughter of Stephen and Sarah Massey, was born on May 14th 1873 at Fairfield, Manchester. Her father Stephen was a senior partner of B & S Massey Ltd (founded 1861) of Openshaw, Manchester, manufacturers of forging plant, with business outlets throughout the world. The family were regular attendees at their local Congregational church in Lees Street, Manchester and influential supporters of the London Missionary Society. In 1893 Stephen Massey visited Hankow, China and determined to sponsor a hospital for women, attached to the LMS mission at Wuchang. In the same year Ruth Massey began a course of study at Edinburgh's Medical College for Women with the aim of becoming a fully qualified doctor and medical missionary.

In 1899 Ruth Massey graduated from the Medical College for Women with degrees of MB and ChB and that same year was on her way to Wuchang where her father was to support her work as medical missionary. Arriving at the same time as the Boxer Rising [Uprising] she experienced a disruptive few months but in 1901 the new Women's Hospital at Wuchang, with which Ruth was to be so closely involved for her entire working life in China, was ready to take its first patients.

In 1928, Ruth Massey resigned from the LMS in order to look after her father Stephen who was in a fragile state of health. The family home was now in Wilmslow, Cheshire and, in addition to domestic duties; Ruth occupied herself there with various tasks such as translating English into Chinese Braille. She also became deaconess at her local Congregational church. Ruth Massey died on January 19th 1963.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited in 2005

Other Finding Aids

This decsription constitutes the only finding aid at present.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Estate of Ruth Massey

Related Material

Dr Ruth Massey's official letters and reports, and her application papers, are to be found in the archive of the London Missionary Society, now the Council for World Mission, which is in SOAS Library.


An account of Ruth Massey's life and work by Professor Clyde Binfield, based on these materials, has been published in The rise of the laity in evangelical protestantism, edited by D. Lovegrove and published by Routledge in 2002.