Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)CMS/B/OMS/C I2 O/1-270
TitleOriginal papers [incoming]
Extent415 files and 1 vol.
DescriptionThe original papers comprise all incoming papers sent to headquarters by the mission secretary (or very occasionally directly from the missionaries and others). They consist mainly of letters, journals and reports, but include minutes and papers of local CMS committees.
NotesThe secretary was the sole channel for the correspondence of CMS employees in South India with the London headquarters, and sent to London the original letters, journals, reports and papers together with copies of letters and papers written to him from missionaries, committee members, government officials and others.

The original letters to headquarters, journals, reports and annual letters have been placed with the papers of the individual agent. The copies have been placed with the papers of the relevant mission secretary. As the Corresponding Committee in Madras was particularly powerful and dealt with every aspect of the work of the mission, it is essential to work on the papers of the secretary as well as the individual agents.
ArrangementThe papers appear to have been kept in wooden boxes, about ten years or so for each box. For the period before 1869 there were bundles of papers of various kinds such as correspondence with bishops, minutes of the Corresponding Committee, indents and medical certificates, as well as letters and papers from individuals. From 1869 until 1880 the papers appear to have been kept in roughly chronological order. Except for a few of the original bundles the papers for the entire period before 1880 have been sorted according to the various individuals who were writing to headquarters, and are arranged alphabetically.

Papers have been placed, as far as possible, in the order in which the mission secretary sent them, and in the chronological order in which they were received at headquarters. John Tucker (1833-47) used a method of lettering and numbering but the date of receipt in London has taken priority where necessary in the listing. The numbering of letters for each year (running from May to April) was started in 1855.
Access StatusOpen
Physical DescriptionThe papers were marked on arrival with the date of receipt and/or date on which the committee dealt with them. From 1820 to 1843 and again from the autumn of 1861 to 1880 the papers were also numbered in red ink, in the order in which they arrived at headquarters. Some of them were initialled by the Secretary who read or dealt with them. The majority of the papers were then copied in full into the mission books [q.v.].


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