The Archive of the Christian Student Movement of Cuba (MECC) is part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). It consists of documents of the Movimiento de Estudiantes Cristianos de Cuba (MEC), an affiliate of the World Student Christian Federation, on the organization’s history, activities, and relations with related organizations between 1960 and 2018.
The Archive of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Cuba (SETC) is part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). It consists of documents of the Seminario Evangélico Teológico of Matanzas, Cuba, from its foundation in 1946 to the present. It includes a.o. foundational documents, periodicals, correspondence, materials from distinguished professors and documents of the Conferencia Cristiana por la Paz, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Archives of the Church of Uganda Online
Kept at Uganda Christian University, Mukono
The records in this collection document the history of the Church of the Province of Uganda, including some of the first written documents about and originating from Uganda. It covers the period from the arrival of the first Church Missionary Society missionaries at King Mutesa's court (1877) to the early 1980s. Contents of the collection include legal and administrative documents, correspondence, publications, personal records and more from the Offices of the Archbishops and Bishops of Uganda, the Education Secretary General, the General, Financial, and Provincial Secretaries, the Provincial Treasurer, and the Mother’s Union.
• Dates: 1882 until early 1980s
• Languages used: predominantly English, Bantu languages
• Location of originals: Uganda Christian University, Mukono
This publication was realized with the support of the Kenneth Scott Latourette Fund, Yale Divinity School Library.
Christianity came to Uganda relatively late compared to many other parts of Africa. The first Church Missionary Society missionaries arrived at King Mutesa's court on 30 June 1877, seventy-eight years after the founding of the Church Missionary Society in Great Britain. However, within eight decades, after having passed through much persecution, Uganda had become one of the most successful mission fields in the world. By 1914, through its indigenous teachers and a few European missionaries, nearly the whole of present-day Uganda had already been evangelized. In 1961 the growth of the Church of Uganda was recognized in the Anglican Communion with the establishment of the Church of the Province of Uganda, Rwanda-Burundi and Boga-Zaire.
This collection is an important source not only for the history of Christianity in Uganda, but also for the political and social development of the country, both before and after its independence.
Content of the collection 1. Office of the Bishop of Uganda – (1882-1961).
These records trace the development of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) Uganda Mission and the Native Anglican Church (NAC) in Uganda, including the Uganda Diocese and the Diocese of the Upper Nile.
2. Education Secretary General – (1936-1964).
These records document the development and operations of the CMS/NAC schools, their governing bodies, and their interaction with the Uganda Protectorate Education Department which regulated education within Uganda.
3. General Secretary – (1924-1963).
The General Secretary served as administrator for the Bishop, so the records in this group are complementary to those found in the Office of the Bishop of Uganda and Education Secretary General. The CMS/NAC General Secretary also served as the Archdeacon of the Uganda Diocese.
4. Financial Secretary – (1929-1963).
5. Archbishop's Office – (1960-1993).
The Archbishop's Office replaced the Bishop's Office when the Church of the Province of Uganda was established in 1961. The Diocese's structure changed during the transition from the Native Anglican Church to the Church of Uganda (COU) but many programs continued.
6. Provincial Secretary – (1960-1995).
The Provincial Secretary replaced the General Secretary when the Church of the Province of Uganda was established in 1961. These records are complementary to the Archbishop's Office records in the Archbishop's Office.
7. Mother’s Union (1960-1991).
This collection contains all files related to Women’s work and Women’s Organizations.
8. Provincial Treasurer (1960-1991).
This eighth collection contains the files of the Provincial Treasurer as well as correspondence with the provinces of Uganda and with related organizations such as the WCC and Missionary Societies.
Contents note Correspondence, reports, minutes, development plans, policy statements, constitutions and legal documents, contracts, registers (for marriages, baptism and confirmation), publications, personal records, staff lists since the founding of the Church in 1877 up to early 1980s.
Subjects History of Africa; History of Religion; Mission Studies; Education; Political issues; Land; Sacraments; Finances; Church ministers; Church work; World Christianity; Ecumenism
Language note Predominantly English, Bantu languages
The Archives of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba (IPRC) are part of the Archives of Christian Churches and Organizations in Cuba (CCOC). This recently enlarged collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba. It includes a wide range of materials that are indispensable for the study of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba, and more broadly, the study of Protestantism in Cuba.
This collection makes available for research the records of the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC) and predecessor Presbyterian churches and missions in Cuba, including a complete run of Heraldo Cristiano, the church’s newsletter, 1919 – 2010, which provides a framework for the history of the church, its work and history. Also included are the periodicals Juprecu and Su Voz, early mission records, originally maintained in English and then in Spanish as the congregations took over management of their churches and schools from the mission workers. These include session minutes and membership/baptism/marriage/death records, as well as minutes of men’s, women’s, and youth groups, including their mission work in their communities.
Size of the collection: 52,000 scans, approx. 80,000 pages.
Languages: Spanish (main), English.
This publication was realized with the support of the Kenneth Scott Latourette Fund, Yale Divinity School Library.
Historical background The Archives of the Presbyterian Church of Cuba Online collection consist of the records of the National Presbyterate of Cuba (1904- ), the First Havana Congregation founded in 1901 (including a group made up exclusively English-speakers), and the records of eleven other Presbyterian congregations located in or around Havana: Guanabacoa, Güines, Güira de Melena, Luyanó, Nueva Paz, Palos, Regla, San Antonio, San Nicolás, Vega, and a small church that served Havana’s Chinese population. These records are in Spanish, begin in the first decade of the twentieth century and go up to the 2010s. The collection also includes fairly complete sets of Presbyterian periodicals: Heraldo Cristiano (1919-2010), the official monthly publication of the Cuban Presbyterian Church; Juprecu (1961-2009), the bimonthly publication of the Unión Nacional de Jóvenes Presbiterianos (Presbyterian Youth Union), and a collection of quarterly Su Voz (1961-2010).
While there had been a Protestant presence on the island as far back as the early colonial era, the first formal Protestant congregations emerged only in 1871, following a short-lived declaration of religious tolerance for Spain and its colonies. These first legal non-Catholic congregations served primarily Havana’s established and floating English-speaking Protestants. At the time, tens of thousands of Cuban political exiles resided in various U.S. locations from Key West to New York City. Following the end of the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878) against Spain, Cuban Protestants returned to the island and began to spread the work of various Protestant denominations. Cuban layman Evaristo Collazo established the first Presbyterian works in Havana in 1890 but had to close them five years later, when Cubans launched yet another war of independence against Spain.
The Presbyterian Church was officially established in Cuba in December 1901, during U.S. military occupation. Three years later, Cuba’s Presbyterians founded the Presbyter of Havana. During the Republican era (1902-1958) the church experienced growth and expanded its religious, educational, and charitable work. Much reduced in numbers and freedoms, the Presbyterian church persisted during the Revolutionary period that began in 1959. In 1967, Cuba’s Presbyterian churches became independent, and formed the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC; Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba). During the 1990s and first decades of the twenty first century, this and other Protestant denominations experienced significant growth.
The bulk of Cuba’s Presbyterian Church records consist of scores of libros de actas (books of minutes) of each of the churches’ consistory meetings, regular meetings that included clergy and church elders. It also includes the minutes books of different committees and associations, among them those kept by men’s, women’s, and youth organizations, as well as Sunday Schools, Christian Education, and Benevolence groups. These books provide important information on a variety of topics ranging from clergy appointments and membership lists to budgets and the various roles played by Presbyterian women over the decades. Of great value to historians and genealogists are the records of baptism, marriage, and death. Because these records span over one hundred years, they allow scholars and other individuals to recognize and track changes over time. For example, one can trace the growth of various congregations and gather important sociodemographic data on gender, ages, and socioeconomic composition.
These records also provide insights on the participation and church activities of various ethnic and racial groups. There is a book of minutes of the consistory of an English-speaking congregation in Havana (1919-1926) and a particularly interesting set of bound volumes of the Chinese congregation in Havana. These materials are rich in information; they provide a historical sketch of these congregations, a complete list of members, records of baptism and marriage, and a revealing list that states the reasons why particular individual members left the church: “indifference,” “moved to the US,” or “joined a Pentecostal church.”
Besides books of minutes, the collection includes a wide range of historical documents and ephemera such as photo albums, church bulletins, lists of offerings pledges, and various other materials that offer information on the congregations, including the existence of a church-affiliated Boy Scout troop, lists of individuals served by church-run dispensaries, etc. These materials complement the microfilmed Princeton University Library collections of materials on religion in Cuba, among them, “Cuba Protestant Serials” and “Protestant Churches in Cuba.”
The Heraldo Cristiano magazine is particularly useful for anyone seeking a good understanding of the church’s development since 1919. Each edition consists of between fifteen and thirty-six pages of articles and regular sections. These include family devotionals, Sunday school curricula, news from around the world, and up to the mid 1930s, a section called “Cuba Seca” (dry Cuba) devoted to the subject of temperance. Both Cuban authors and US-based clergy and laypeople contributed to the magazine. The Heraldo Cristiano included information on church happenings, clergy appointments, and a social notes section announcing births, baptisms, and marriages, as well as obituaries. The monthly publication also carried photographs of clergy, church buildings, and benevolent work at orphanages and retirement homes. One particularly telling photograph showed a half-burnt Bible, victim of the intolerant zeal of a Catholic priest. The Heraldo Cristiano also carried ads for bookstores selling Christian books, Protestant schools, and other products and services.
The Heraldo Cristiano is also a valuable source to trace the relations of the denomination with various Cuban governments, particularly the revolutionary government since 1959. The February 24, 1959 issue, for example, carried a jubilant editorial entitled “La fiesta de la Patria liberada.” With the passing of time, the Presbyterian Church increased its support for the state and its official magazine included titles such as “Presencia del hombre protestante en la revolución.”
While students of Latin America demography have, for many decades, made good use of Catholic baptismal, confirmation, marriage, and burial records, few have consulted similar records generated by Protestant denominations. Such records, included in this collection, can shed much light on demographic questions and social realities. For example, the role of women in various leadership positions and as educators; and the rapid Cubanization of the clergy in the early years of the twentieth century. Genealogists and individuals putting together family trees will also find these records useful.
This collection offers multiple possibilities for those interested not only in the history of Protestantism on the island but for individuals in search of windows to Cuban culture and society. It will stimulate scholars to venture into a number of historical questions such as: Protestant positions vis-à-vis Catholicism and Afro-Cuban religions; the effects of the Cuban Revolution on Protestant churches and the impact of the consequent massive exile on church membership, attendance, and finances; and the role of the Presbyterian church during the profound economic and moral crisis of the Special Period that began in the early 1990s.
Luis Martínez-Fernández, University of Central Florida
The World Council of Churches Archives Online offers access to the unique archival materials of the World Council of Churches Archives, such as the collection from the WWII period, the documents on the Relations with the Roman Catholic Church, and the Dialogue with People of Living Faiths. Those collections include personal correspondence of notable scholars, theologians and politicians, as well as newspaper articles, press clippings, press releases, telegrams, minutes, manuscripts and personal notes held by the WCC in Geneva.
The following collections are scheduled to be made available digitally in the following years: Correspondence of the General Secretariat, the Program to Combat Racism, a.o.
Arkyves is both a unique database of images and texts and a meeting place for everyone who wants to study imagery and publish about it. All visual and textual sources are made accessible with the help of the multilingual vocabulary for cultural content of the Iconclass system. By using this system it has been made possible to find and retrieve images and texts from various sources on a specific topic.
By using Arkyves it is currently possible to access almost 900.000 images, texts, etc. from libraries and museums in many countries among them the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, and the university libraries of Milan, Utrecht and Glasgow . More collections will follow in the near future. The database contains a link to the images which are available in open access.
Arkyves is both a research tool for art historians and book historians, as well as a tool to facilitate the process of describing images.
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Until now it has been impossible to develop the study of religion in modern Latin America. The imprints of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that reflect local devotions and syncretist rituals, religious iconography and poetry, and the pastoral campaigns of the various churches and sects, went uncollected and unnoticed until the early 1960s, when Ivan Illich began to search for them and to collect them in the CIDOC Library of Cuernavaca, Mexico. The filming of a selection of material from this collection has been done in many libraries throughout Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
In 2022, the microform collection, consisting of 48,000 fiches and 12 reels, is converted in a full-text searchable online resource. Titlelists for the collection are availble with the microform collection. MARC records for the online format are available at the download page.
Archives of the Morija Museum Lesotho and Other Documents
Missionary Archives from Lesotho, 1832-2006 contains both the ethnographic and historical archives of the missionary-historian in Lesotho, D.F. Ellenberger, as well as the complete run of the bi-weekly magazine, the Leselinyana, from 1863 till 2006. The collection also includes historical maps, church archives, personal registers (birth, baptism, and marriage), missionaries’ correspondence, and it features the first written documents from the region. The collection is an important source for historians, theologians, anthropologists, ethnographers and linguists, working on Southern Africa or with an interest in Southern Africa.
The archives at the Morija Museum are one of the most important resources of the area. In Morija, French missionaries settled at the beginning of the 19th century, influenced by the strong connections at Cape Town with Dr John Phillip, Superintendent of the London Missionary Society. They started a printing press and published, amongst others, a bi-weekly magazine: the Leselinyana, which started its first publications in 1863. A complete run of this publication is available in this archive. The missionaries documented not only the history of Basotho/Lesotho but also created dictionaries, bible translations and linguistic publications in and about the Sesotho language.
The collection of mostly unpublished documents by David Frédéric Ellenberger, completed by his son René Ellenberger, covers the history of the Basotho from early times until 1854 and includes handdrawn maps and monographs. Together with church archives and some travel reports, these documents form a unique collection on the history of this region.