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from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London

Part 4: Additional CIM Papers and Chefoo Mission Papers

The Archives of the China Inland Mission (CIM) are one of the most interesting and revealing missiological sources that we have for the study of China in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In Parts 1 and 2 we made available the papers of James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905), founder of the CIM. In Part 3 we covered the organisational records of the CIM.

In this fourth part we cover both the records of the Chefoo Schools Association, 1880-1999, and memoirs and publications of the CIM.

The Chefoo School was founded as the ‘Protestant Collegiate School’ in Chefoo (Yantai) in Northern China in 1880, some fifteen years after the foundation of the CIM. Its original purpose was to teach the children of missionaries who were active in the field and it was based in a building which also served as a sanatorium for sick missionaries. It was a boarding school and it also welcomed children from the business and diplomatic communities. It followed the British model of education and placed a heavy emphasis on classics, religious education and sport. Famous alumni include Jim Broomhall, Alfred Luce and Thornton Wilder.

The school grew rapidly. In 1881 there were just three pupils (Fred, Ross and Edwin Judd), but by 1886 there were over 100 pupils and the Boys and Girls schools were separated. The numbers more than doubled by 1894 and in 1895 a new Prep School was built nearby in Tong-Hsin. A further Prep School was built in Kuling, Central China in 1909 and both the Girls and Boys schools were enlarged. All of this is documented in the archive which includes records and registers starting in 1880 and Minute Books starting in 1908. There are also some fascinating historical notes on Chefoo Schools compiled by Fred H Judd describing events from 1880 to 1948.

Head Masters at Chefoo included W L Elliston (1881-1886), H L Norris (1886-1889), Frank McCarthy (1895-1930), Pat Bruce (1930-1945), and Stanley Houghton (1947-1950). Their various administrations are captured in numerous photographic sources within the archive and also in runs of The Chefusian, 1928-1935, and The Chefoo Magazine, 1916-1999 (with gaps).

When Japan invaded China in 1937, the school continued to operate as normal, as Europeans were regarded as neutrals. However, following the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 everything changed and the staff and all remaining pupils were placed in internment camps. At first they were placed at Temple Hill and in 1943 they moved to Weihsien, where they remained until they were liberated in August 1945. The archive contains some remarkable records of this period including autograph books and sketches made by people in the camps.

During the war the school had kept going with various offshoots in Kiating (1941-1944), Kalimpong, India (1944-1946) and Shanghai (1946-1947) and the school was officially reopened in Kuling (in the building formerly held by the Kuling American School) in 1947. Over 100 students were in place when Communist forces took control of Kuling in 1949 and the school was allowed to continue with its business until early 1951, when the CIM decided to withdraw from China completely. Following the wartime example, the school kept going by relocating and it established new schools in Japan (1951-1998), Malaysia (1952-2001), Thailand (1952-1954), Taiwan (1954-1961) and the Philippines (1956-1981).

The Chefoo Schools Association was founded in 1908 as an association for all former staff and pupils and continues today, with branches in Australia, New Zealand and North America.

Gordon Martin’s Chefoo School, 1881-1951 provides an excellent history of the school and is included on Reel 66 of this microfilm edition. There are also many articles describing the school and reminiscences by alumni.

In addition to the Chefoo Schools papers we also include a final section of material from the main CIM archive covering memoirs and publications of the CIM.

The memoirs are a wonderful source for early mission history and include titles such as Charles Guzlaff’s Journal of Three Voyages Along the Cost of China (1834), Evan Davies’ Memoir of Rev Samuel Dyer (1846) and A E Moule’s The Story of the Cheh-Kiang Mission (1879) and Ningpo Ancient and Modern (1909). There are also numerous works by James Hudson Taylor.

The publications include rare internal publications, religious tracts, posters and visual materials. Sample titles include China and Mohammed (1948) and Communism and Christianity in China (1951).

This is an excellent source for all those interested in missiology, the progress of evangelical Christianity, interactions between East and West, and the social and cultural history of China.

Thanks are due to Susannah Rayner, Head of Archives & Special Collections at SOAS, for her help in the preparation of this microfilm edition.

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