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Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats, 1792-1987

Part 9: The Addis and Geller Collections from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London

The story of China’s interaction with the West in the 19th and 20th centuries is a complex one, as is shown by the two very different archival sources brought together in this collection.

Firstly, we offer the 63 volume diary of Charles Stewart Addis, who joined the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) in 1880. In 1883 he was posted to Singapore, then to the HSBC head office in Hong Kong. In 1886 he became one of the first western bankers to reside in Peking, when he was posted there as Acting Agent. During this time, he also began his experience as a writer when he was invited to contribute material to the Chinese Times by its editor, Alexander Michie. He went on to work in Tientsin, Shanghai (1889-1891, 1898, 1900), Calcutta, Rangoon, and Hankow – and helped to form the Six Power China Consortium, which played an important role in sustaining Yuan Shih-Kai's Republican Government.

In contrast, we provide the 16 volume diaries of Wilson Herbert Geller, 1901-1904, 1908, 1910-1914, 1930, and Mabel Love Geller, 1919, 1930-1934, documenting their life and work as missionaries in China. Both were heavily involved with the Siaokan mission, where they helped to establish a church, a Bible school for women and a new Chinese hymnbook.

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