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The SUM in Nigeria, The Cameroons, Chad, Sudan and other African Territories

Part 4: Lantern Slides, Slides and Photographs

The Archive of the Sudan United Mission (SUM), held at the Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World, New College, University of Edinburgh, is an important resource for the study of missionary work, educational work, medical work, evangelism, the emergence of indigenous churches and the growth of nationalist sentiment in Africa in the twentieth century.

Initially founded as the Sudan Pioneer Mission, SUM took its name from the concept of Greater Sudan. At the beginning of the twentieth century many of the colonial boundaries were in a state of flux and Great Sudan comprised a vast area of Africa stretching from the coasts of Nigeria and the Cameroons in the west, to Chad and Anglo-Egyptian Sudan further east. The main aim of the SUM was to halt the advance of Islam across this huge swathe of territory. Initial efforts focused on the Benue region in Nigeria.

Part 4: Lantern Slides, Slides and Photographs

The visual part of the SUM archive is a fascinating record of SUM activities in Northern Nigeria, Chad, the Cameroons and Sudan and forms a very important part of the archive. Lantern slides, used by the missionaries at home and abroad in the early days of the mission contain stunning views in colour of the African countryside, people and their daily life. Lantern slides, often used on recruitment drives, were discontinued in later years and regular slides were then used to record important events, mission life and other activities. They provide researchers with useful evidence on different mission stations, local tribes and customs, SUM initiatives amongst the indigenous population and the growth of Indigenous African Churches. The many photographs in the archive are organised by location. Some are black and white and some are in colour. They depict life and missionary work in Northern Nigeria and Sudan.

Further information

Please see our Digital Guide for more information on the following:

  • Early developments of the Sudan United Mission
  • Northern Nigeria
  • The different tribes of Northern Nigeria
  • Nationalism in Nigeria
  • Post-Independence Politics and Civil War in Nigeria
  • Sudan
  • Other branches and related papers

Nature and Scope of the Microfilm Project

The microfilm publication of the SUM Archive has been divided into the following parts:

Part 1: Manuscript Papers, 1898-1960
Part 2: The Lightbearer, 1905-1991
Part 3: Newsletters, 1940-1989, Publications and Annual Reports, 1908-1979
Part 4: Lantern Slides, Slides and Photographs
Part 5: Publications in Hausa

Bautchi Woman and Child


Digital Guide

PDF Flyer

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