Records of the London Missionary Society, dating mainly from the foundation of the Society in 1795, but with some material from 1774 onwards relating to Madagascar and Mauritius, and a series of 'Extra' correspondence dating from 1764. The records relate to the structure and administration of the Society and mission activity overseas and comprise LMS Home Office minutes and papers, committee minutes, correspondence inward and outward, candidates' papers, and papers of official deputations; official journals, reports and correspondence from LMS missionaries in the field; special series of 'Odds', a collection of miscellaneous documents including material from the mission field; a large collection of portraits of missionaries; more than 15,000 photographs, showing individual converts, mission staff and buildings, and also depicting the lives, work and pursuits of indigenous peoples, means of transport, topographical scenes and historical events. Personal papers of LMS missionaries in the archive include an important collection of 115 original letters from David Livingstone (1813-1873), as well as correspondence of Robert Moffat (1795-1883) in Southern Africa, Robert Morrison (1782-1834) in China and James Sibree (1836-1929) and Elizabeth Lomas (1877-1959) in Madagascar. Home Personals include the papers of Dr Ralph Wardlaw Thompson (1842-1916), Foreign Secretary of the LMS from 1881-1914.
Records after 1966 are those of the Congregational Council for World Mission, and reflect the administrative changes and restructuring leading up to the creation of the Council for World Mission in 1977. Records for this period have been arranged and listed as a continuation of the LMS papers as in many cases changes to administrative structures took place gradually.