Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/B/OMS/C2
TitleBritish Columbia Mission
DescriptionPre- and post-1880 papers of the British Columbia Mission (C2), known as the North Pacific Mission until September 1896.

Comprising individual letter-books, letter-books, mission books and original papers under the Committee of Correspondence 1856-1880 and individual letter-books, letter-books, précis books and original papers under the East Asia (Group 1) Committee 1881-1925.

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 North-West Canada Mission (known as the 'North-West America Mission' before 1896) as well as records of the British Columbia Mission. These shared volumes are filed with the North-West Canada Mission papers under finding numbers CMS/B/OMS/C C1 and CMS/B/OMS/G1 C1.
ArrangementRecords under the Committee of Correspondence ('North Pacific Mission'):

I: Individual letter-books: [see CMS/B/OMS/C C1/I1-2]
L: Letter-books: [see CMS/B/OMS/C C1/L2-4]
M: Mission books: [see CMS/B/OMS/C C1/M6-10]
O: Original papers

Records under the East Asia (Group 1) Committee ('North Pacific Mission' 1881-1896, thereafter 'British Columbia Mission'):

I: Individual letter-books: [see CMS/B/OMS/G1 C1/I3-4]
L: Letter-books
O: Original papers
P: Précis books
Access ConditionsDigital or microfilm copies are made available in place of the originals.
Access StatusOpen, but subject to some access restrictions
Administrative HistoryFollowing a suggestion by Captain Prevost in 1856, CMS sent William Duncan to begin work amongst the Tsimshean Indians in 1857. He founded the village of Metlakatla in 1862. Work spread to Kincolith (1866), Masset (1876), Alert Bay (1878), Hazelton (1880), Giatwangak (1882), Aiyansh (1883), Kitkatla (1887) and Tahl Tan (1898). All work was handed over to the Missionary Society of the Canadian Church in 1920.
Custodial HistoryPapers catalogued by Rosemary A. Keen 1982-1983.
CopiesAvailable on microfilm and online.

Church Missionary Society Archive: Section V: Missions to the Americas, Part 4.
Publisher: Marlborough: Adam Matthew Publications, 2003.
Location in the Cadbury Research Library: microfilm drawers B3, B7 and B8.

Digital publication:
Church Missionary Society Archive: Missions to the Americas: British Columbia and North West America Mission papers
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. From 1869 to 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 (1951-53) decided to incorporate the 1869-80 documents in the pre-1868 method of arrangement. This re-arrangement had not been done for Canada when the bulk of the series (mainly pre-1990) was microfilmed in 1955 for the Public Archives of Canada, but had been completed by 1959 when the then archivist was appointed. The catalogue of the series now, therefore, bears no relationship to the order of the documents on the 1955 microfilm [as listed in the transcript of the film A-480 'CMS Finding Aid']*. 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 Land and may be consulted by researchers.


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