North India Incoming Correspondence

Archive Unit

Scope and Content

Incoming correspondence from missionaries in North India to the London Missionary Society headquarters. Includes correspondence from Bengal, 1800-1927, Gujerat, 1817-1860, and the United Provinces, 1820-1927. The letters have been written predominantly by missionaries in the field, but there are also letters from the wives of missionaries, the Bishop of Calcutta, and representatives of private concerns, including the East India Company, local government and colonial officials, and agents.

Detailed cataloguing has been completed at file level for certain dates. This includes Bengal, 1800-1841, Gujerat, 1817-1860, and the United Provinces, 1820-1865. Catalogue entries provide the names of correspondents, dates of letters, places and a summary of the subject matter. For details of the correspondence from each region, see separate descriptions (sub-series). Letters for the later period have yet to be catalogued.

Note re. North India place names:

Variations occur in the spelling of place names from one correspondent to another. For the purposes of cataloguing, Banaras is entered as Benares with the modern equivalent [Varanasi] in square brackets following each entry. Mirzapore is entered as Mirzapur. Berhampore, sometimes spelt as Berhampur is entered as Berhampore with the modern equivalent [Baharampur] also shown in square brackets. Please note that Baharampur, situated 200 km north of Calcutta and the administrative headquarters of the Murshidabad district in West Bengal, is to be distinguished from Berhampur, now known as Brahmapur, which is in Orissa. Almorah is sometimes used in correspondence - the standard for entry is Almora or Almorah [Almora]. Calcutta is entered with its modern vernacular equivalent [Kolkata], Madras [Chennai] and Bombay [Mumbai].


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.

Conditions Governing Access


Other Finding Aids

Detailed lists of Incoming Correspondence for Bengal, 1800-1838 (list F1), Gujerat, 1817-1860 (list F2), and the United Provinces, 1820-1865 (list F7) are available for consultation in the Special Collections Reading Room, SOAS Library.

Archivist's Note