The Archives on the History of Christianity in China at Hong Kong Baptist University Library: Its Development, Significance, and Future

By Chan, Kylie | International Bulletin of Missionary Research, January 2005 | Go to article overview

The Archives on the History of Christianity in China at Hong Kong Baptist University Library: Its Development, Significance, and Future


Chan, Kylie, International Bulletin of Missionary Research


The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) is a regional pioneer in establishing a valuable archives collection on the history of Christianity in China, with the aim of preserving various facets of the Christian heritage in China. (1)

Archives on the History of Christianity in China

The Archives on the History of Christianity in China (AHC) collection, consisting mainly of materials in either English or Chinese, covers topics of Chinese Christians, missionaries, church history, and the history of Christianity in China. The archives emphasizes the period before 1950. At the end of 2003, there were 3,084 volumes of monographs (2,078 in English and 1,006 in Chinese), and 31,000 microform items, with thirty linear feet of archival records on the history of Christianity in China.

The archives contains over 200 biographies and memoirs detailing prominent missionaries, such as Hudson Taylor, James Outram Fraser, Karl Ludvig Reichelt, David Abeel, and John Leighton Stuart. The archives contains various valuable and scarce materials, including letters and postcards written by Frederick Webb and 219 lantern slides taken by missionaries of the China Inland Mission. These lantern slides, useful in documenting the social and economic activities of the Chinese from the 1900s to the 1930s, were donated to the HKBU Library by the Billy Graham Center, Wheaton, Illinois.

The library also includes later works. For example, of the 183 titles discussed by Jessie G. Lutz in "Chinese Christianity and China Missions: Works Published Since 1970," (2) 2120 titles are held by the various archives in HKBU.

Importance of the Archives

One of the growing areas of study in Asia is the history of Christian missions in China. Faculty members of the Department of History and the Department of Religion and Philosophy of HKBU have come to recognize that this is a new source of documentation for the study of East-West relations. Besides bringing religious teaching to China, missionaries played an important role in the transfer of knowledge and values between East and West, helping to cross-fertilize the distinctive cultures of Confucianism and Christianity. Missionaries had a long-term impact on Christian education, the adoption of Western medicine, and social services in China as they established Christian schools, hospitals, orphanages, and publishing houses. Christian missions contributed to leaders' training "in the fields of education and medicine; in the introduction of professions such as journalism, nursing and dentistry, library science, physical education, and agriculture; in the fostering of formal education for women; [and] in the inculcation of ideals of civic responsibility and mass education." (3) In addition, women missionaries made important contributions as educators, role models, and social service workers.

Archival materials on Christianity in China help to shed light on the anti-Christian movements in the 1920s that were supported by political parties hoping to raise their political profile. Some recently surfaced publications on the Chinese churches under the People's Republic of China will allow more understanding of official churches, that is, the Catholic Patriotic Association and the Three-Self Movement, as well as of their counterparts among the underground churches.

Development and Mission of the Archives

Although Christianity first spread into China over 1,300 years ago, formal research on the history of Chinese Christianity did not begin before the 1930s and the 1940s. (4) From 1949 to 1976 missionary activities in China were considered to be associated with Western imperialism. With the open-door policy adopted in China in the late 1970s, studies have been undertaken of the history of cultural exchange between China and other nations and have consequently aroused scholars' interest in researching the history of Christianity in China.

The initial search for archival materials on Christianity in China began sporadically in the early 1960s in North America. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Archives on the History of Christianity in China at Hong Kong Baptist University Library: Its Development, Significance, and Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.