Papers of the Missionary Leaves Association

Scope and Content

Minutes of the Missionary Leaves Association and the Missionary Leaves Association Trust Association, legal papers and correspondence, annual reports and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Administrative/Biographical History

The Missionary Leaves Association [MLA] was founded in 1869 by Reverend R. C. Billing and Mrs. H. G. Malaher of Reading, Miss Lanfear of Hungerford and other friends. Mr. Malaher was its first secretary and its headquarters were at 20 Compton Terrace, London. The purpose of the Association was to assist Church Missionary Society missionaries and indigenous clergy in the CMS mission areas, by providing an agency through which they could obtain things necessary for their work but not provided by CMS e.g. harmoniums, equipment for lantern shows, church furniture and bells etc. It also collected contributions for the support of orphans and children in boarding-schools. It supplied goods for sale to people in the British Isles who organised fundraising events for CMS.

Exhibitions were arranged by local friends of CMS and CEZMS following the successful first missionary exhibition in 1882 at Cambridge. Mr. Malaher, MLA Secretary, helped from the first in collecting and arranging the exhibits, many of which were provided by the CMS Loan Department. The number of exhibitions increased until by 1919 CMS decided that it wanted more control over them and decided to create its own Exhibition Department. It appointed T. H. Baxter, the MLA Secretary, as the head of a new department at CMS (to be called General Wants) which would be responsible for the exhibitions, the servicing of working parties and the CMS Loan Department. It was to absorb and develop the MLA work. In 1920 MLA went into voluntary liquidation and its work continued as part of the CMS's General Wants Department (which in 1921 was also to incorporate the Medical Wants Department).

Reference: Rosemary Keen, Catalogue of the papers of the Missionary Leaves Association


The records are arranged into three series: C: Committee work F: Finance Z: Miscellaneous.

Access Information

Access Conditions

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Other Finding Aids

See full catalogue for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the University Archivist, Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

The University of Birmingham Information Services, Special Collections Department also holds the archives of the Church Missionary Society (GB 150 CMS), particularly the catalogue of the Medical Department and, for the continuing development of the work formerly undertaken by the MLA, see the catalogue of the Home Division Catalogue (principally H/H19).