The collection is made up of the Echoes of Service correspondence files relating to individual missionaries and married couples. It contains copies of correspondence to workers in the field, and letters from the missionaries concerned to the Echoes' staff. Early correspondence files were lost or destroyed during the Second World War, consequently the records are all post-1945. However, this does not mean that earlier material is not to be found here. Missionaries in the field in 1945 could well have been there for some time, so that many records relate to activities in the nineteen thirties.
Many of the letters from missionaries themselves are particularly valuable; they provide accounts of events and incidents, reports on their activities, and commentary on local responses and levels of organization. They also contain discussions of relationships within the missionary community, including comments on the effectiveness or otherwise of individual missionaries, alongside praise, criticism and discussions of the problems faced. Some of the files also contain examples of literature and other ephemera (such as leaflets, publicity materials and sermons) used in the field. There is much personal material relating to the individuals involved both during their period as missionaries, and later, as Echoes remained in contact following their return home.
The archive contains much of interest to those studying Christian mission in general and missionary activity abroad, the role of British missionaries in the twilight years of the British Empire, the significance of missionary activity within the Brethren tradition, and an abundance of biographical material relating to the individuals concerned.