Mackenzie Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection includes: personal papers; items belonging to Eliza Mackenzie; correpondence; pictures and photographs; printed material; Chinese objects; Chinese language items; and posters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alexander Ramsay Mackenzie, missionary with the United Free Church of Scotland in Manchuria, was born in Edinburgh on 12 April 1879. His family moved to Glasgow in the 1890s and he attended Glasgow University (the United Free Church Hall, later Trinity College) where he graduated MA, BD. He went to China as a missionary in 1907 where he worked until his death in 1929 from typhus contracted while preaching in the local prison.

Alexander Mackenzie worked in the district around Liaoyang, then in 1911 was transferred to Kaiyuan and in 1913 moved to Yungling-Hing-king. He was involved in pastoral work, and was a noted administrator, acting as secretary and treasurer for the mission as well as serving on several committees such as the Moukden Medical College board of management. A scholarly man, he applied himself to the study of Mandarin and developed phonetic systems which standardised and assisted pronunciation and were in widespread use. His linguistic ability, accuracy, attention to detail and unselfishness won him the admiration of the Chinese authorities and people. In 1910 he married Eliza Jane Miller (Ellie) who had been born in Glasgow on 31 January 1879 to a family with strong missionary connections. She studied medicine at Glasgow University and graduated MC, ChB in 1903. After working in her father's practice for some time, in 1906 she was appointed a medical missionary in Manchuria, also with the United Free Church of Scotland.

The Mackenzies spent a year in Scotland in 1928 while Alexander produced his survey Church and Missions in Manchuria. Ellie Mackenzie had resigned from the mission on her marriage but after her husband's death she rejoined as an evangelical missionary and started a successful bible school for women. She retired in 1940 but was delayed in Canada during the Second World War and studied at the Canadian School of Missions in Toronto (1940-43) until her return to Scotland in 1944. She lived in Glasgow until her death in 1977. The Mackenzies had two daughters, Isabel born in 1913, and Frances who was born in 1917. Both studied at Edinburgh University, Isabel went back to Manchuria as a missionary and Frances became a language teacher working in England, France and Scotland.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers. It is essential to arrange an appointment in advance to view the archive in order that someone can be available to help. Please contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Acquisition Information

The papers were presented to the Centre in 1992 and in 2001 by Frances Mackenzie, daughter of Alexander and Eliza Mackenzie.

Other Finding Aids

A paper catalogue is available to visitors to the Centre.

Archivist's Note

Description originally written and researched by Caroline Brown in June 2001. This had been added to Archives Hub in August 2012 by Louise Williams.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction of materials (for example by digital camera) is free for private research and educational use, although we ask researchers to sign an agreement. Please contact us for enquiries on using the material in a commercial setting, for which there will be a fee. Contact us by email at divinity-CSWC@ed.ac.uk. Telephone the Centre on: 0131 650 8900. Postal address: Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX.

Accruals

No further additions to this collection are expected.