Board Papers

Scope and Content

The Board of Directors minutes comprise minutes from weekly meetings of the Directors, together with minutes of the annual general meetings (held each year in May, otherwise known as the 'May meetings'), and minutes of any special meetings held by the Directors. Minutes include reports of items of correspondence read to the Board, reports from individual missionaries, and from various committees. Minutes record the certification or otherwise of resolutions and reports from other committees i.e. regional committees. They also include financial resolutions. The structure of the Board of Directors' minutes is the date and place of the meeting, a list of the Directors present and name of the Chair of the meeting, followed by a succession of points for discussion. This forms the basis for the indexes, where present.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Board of Directors was the main governing body of the London Missionary Society. In 1795, various committees were established to report to the Board. These included the Committee of Funds, Committee of Correspondence, Committee of Reports, Committee of Examination (Candidates Examination Committee), and Committee of Provision and Conveyance. In 1799, the Directors of the Board were divided into three standing committees: Committee of Correspondence and Reports, Committee of Funds and Contracts, and Committee of Examination and Instruction. These early committees reflect the functions of the Board - fund raising and financial expenditure, communication with individuals, Government and other Societies, the appointment of missionaries to the field, and the administration of the Society. As the Society developed, it required other committees to be established, whereas others fell into obeyance. The committee structure of the LMS reflects the working of the Society, and there are changes and developments over time.


The papers are arranged into two sub-series, the Board of Directors Minutes (1795-1977), and Board Representations to Government and Power of Attorney (1856-1931).

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