Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/B/OMS/C1
TitleNorth-West Canada Mission
Extent53 volumes, 2932 items
DescriptionPre- and post-1880 papers of the North-West Canada Mission (C1), known as the North-West America Mission before 1896.

Comprising individual letter-books, letter-books, mission books and original papers under the Committee of Correspondence, 1821-1887 and individual letter-books, letter-books, précis books and original papers under the East Asia (Group 1) Committee, 1881-1930.

The early letter-book volumes continued to be used after the day-to-day administration of the mission passed from the Committee of Correspondence to the Group Committee so researchers interested in outgoing correspondence dating from 1881 to 1887 may wish to consider records held under finding numbers C C1 I and C C1 L as well as G1 C1 I and G1 C1 L.

The bound volumes compiled at the CMS UK office under the Committee of Correspondence and the individual letter-books under the East Asia (Group 1) Committee incorporate records of the British Columbia Mission (known as the North Pacific Mission until September 1896) as well as the records of the North-West Canada Mission.
ArrangementRecords under the Committee of Correspondence (C):

/I: Individual letter-books 1852-1887 (including entries relating to the North Pacific Mission)
/L: Letter-books 1821-1882 (including entries relating to the North Pacific Mission)
/M: Mission books 1822-1876 (including entries relating to the North Pacific Mission)
/O: Original papers 1822-1880

Records under the East Asia (Group 1) Committee (G1):

/I: Individual letter-books 1887-1914 (including entries relating to the British Columbia (North Pacific) Mission)
/L: Letter-books 1882-1930
/O: Original papers 1881-1930
/P: Précis books 1881-1930
Access ConditionsMicrofilm or digital copies are made available in place of the originals.
Access StatusOpen, but subject to some access restrictions
Physical DescriptionThe post-1880 papers are each individually marked in red ink. This number, plus the year, constitutes the reference for each item [eg G1 C1/1886/54]. G1 C1 is missing hundreds of numbers [consult in-house finding aid for details].
Administrative HistoryCMS work in what is now Canada began in 1822 and was primarily amongst First Nation peoples and people of Inuit heritage. The main stations were: Red River Settlement (Winnipeg) (1822), The Pas, Manitoba (1840), Lac la Ronge (Stanley), Saskatchewan (1852), Fort Simpson, North West Territories (1858) and York Factory, Manitoba (1854). Work in the Arctic amongst the Inuit ['Eskimos'] was handed over to the Canadian Church in 1907. From 1903, CMS made annually decreasing grants for the support of a locally appointed ministry and all work was finally handed over to the Missionary Society of the Canadian Church in 1920.
Custodial HistoryPapers catalogued by Rosemary A. Keen.
CopiesAvailable on microfilm and online.

Church Missionary Society Archive: Section V: Missions to the Americas, Parts 2-3.
Publisher: Marlborough: Adam Matthew Publications, 2003.
Location in the Cadbury Research Library: microfilm drawers B2, B3, B7 and C8; the microfilm reel in drawer C8 is in a box titled 'Addendum reel: additional C C1 O'.

Digital publication:
Church Missionary Society Archive: Missions to the Americas: North-West Canada
Publisher: Adam Matthew Digital.
Access: by institutional subscription: free to members of the University of Birmingham and visitors to the Cadbury Research Library and other subscribing institutions.
Microfilm in the Public Archives of Canada:

The original organisation of the papers under the overall superintendence of the Committee of Correspondence was divided into two chronological sequences. For the period before 1868 there were groups of papers relating to such matters as correspondence with bishops, medical certificates, indents and printed papers; there were also papers and journals for the individual missionaries and agents etc Then from 1869 till 1880 the documents were arranged roughly in years in the order in which they were entered in the mission books.

With no detailed indexes or finding aids this arrangement is awkward and the first archivist (1951-1953) decided to incorporate the 1869-1880 documents in the pre-1868 method of arrangement. This re-arrangement had not been done for the Canada mission files when the bulk of the series (mainly pre-1890) was microfilmed in 1955 for the Public Archives of Canada, but had been completed by 1959 when the present archivist was appointed The catalogue of the series now, therefore, bears no relationship to the order of the documents on the microfilm [as listed in the transcript of the film A-480 'CMS Finding Aid']*; and although an attempt has been made with the small British Columbia section to identify each individual item on the microfilm, the magnitude of the task has prevented a similar attempt being made for the North-West Canada Mission. Some items on the microfilm list were not found when the present catalogue was compiled.

*A copy of this was presented to the CMS Archives Office in 1965 by the Ecclesiastical Province Of Rupert's and may be consulted by researchers.


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