|The original papers [incoming: O 1-85] were copied into the mission books, so that a legible copy was available for the use of the committee. From May 1822 to May 1830 and May 1834 to April 1837 the papers are numbered in the order in which they arrived at headquarters, each year numbering from May to April [being the committee year]. From 1822 to 1835 only they are entered in numerical order (though not all papers are entered). The numbers in the books correspond with the numbers, usually in red ink, on the letters. The numbering begins again 23 October 1861 [though then entering material received July 1861 onwards] and continues until 1880. From 1868 to 1880 the papers are entered in strict numerical order.
The mission books from January 1868 consist of gatherings bound into volumes. The copying clerks wrote gathering by gathering, so that the handwriting and the individual items may be split between gatherings.
The letters and journals from 1820 to those received May 1849 are copied out in full, while a note of receipt is made for the financial papers [as distinct from finance letters] and printed papers. From 1849 onwards the letters only are so copied Annual letters from those for 1870 onwards, are copied out in [or, if printed, pasted or sewn into] the backs of the volumes. These letters are a yearly account by missionaries of their activities and cover a period from August to July.