Southern Africa Incoming Correspondence

Scope and Content

Incoming correspondence from missionaries in Matabeleland and South Africa to the London Missionary Society headquarters. For details of the correspondence from each region, see separate descriptions (sub-series).

Detailed cataloguing has been completed at file level for Matabeleland, 1835-1899, and South Africa, 1797-1899. Catalogue entries provide the names of correspondents, dates, places, and in some cases a summary of the subject matter. Letters for the later period have yet to be catalogued.


Until 1927, the LMS kept all correspondence received from the mission field in strict chronological order. From approximately the last quarter of the 19th century, each letter has a cover sheet, which gives it a unique number, date sent, date received by the Home Office, the appropriate governing region (Eastern, Southern etc) and a precis of contents. The arrangement of incoming correspondence changed in 1928, when the administrative decision was made to file incoming and outgoing correspondence together in alphabetical files from individuals.

Access Information


Other Finding Aids

Detailed lists for incoming correspondence from Matabeleland, 1835-1899 (list E4), and South Africa, 1797-1899 (lists E6 & E7), are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room, SOAS Library.

Archivist's Note