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Collections

The Centre benefits in its teaching and research activity from a specialist library, forming a ground-floor wing of The Sheppard-Worlock Library at Liverpool Hope University. It is a self-contained specialist resource intended for those engaged in the study of Christian history, thought and life in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region, and in the overseas Diasporas from those continents.

It also serves the general field of mission studies and mission history. The collection includes not only works relating to church and mission activity in Africa and Asia Pacific but many on the historical, cultural and religious context of Christianity there, making it valuable also for a range of studies in history and religions. Religious literature published in Africa and Asia, not often collected by British institutions, forms a major feature of this collection.

Professor Andrew Walls has actively collected most of these materials over five decades. The Centre’s collection is augmented by valuable gifts notably from Dr George Hood, late of the Selly Oak Colleges, of works on China and Southeast Asia, from Professor J W Hofmeyr of the University of Pretoria, of works on South Africa, from Rev. Dr. Daniel O'Connor, the author of The Chaplains of the East India Company, 1601–1858, Mrs. Cecilia Irvine on Christianity in Congo, and Bibles in several languages from the Wycliffe Bible Translators.

Pamphlets and ephemera constitute a feature of the collection. There are many thousands of these from many countries and in many languages, a large number not being known in any other collection. The periodicals, when the remainder of the material at present in Edinburgh and Aberdeen is received, will include four thousand titles, with complete sets and long runs of material not easy to find in other libraries. The Ida Grace McRuer Collection, transferred from Winnipeg Theological Seminary, is without parallel in Britain in its coverage of North American missions, and there is much rare material from Africa and Asia.

The Butler Collection of Non-Western Christian Art contains the art library of the late Dr John F Butler, one of the first serious studies of Christian art in Asia, Africa and Latin America, together with his personal papers and thousands of slides, artistic and architectural. This collection also includes works of art from Africa and Asia.

Professor Hoffie Hofmeyer of South Africa has donated about 400 books on South African history, Christianity, traditional religions, culture and modern life. Likewise, Canon Daniel O’Connor has kindly sent a large number of books on Christian Ecumenism, Church Union Movements in India, the works of a few European mission agencies, world religions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam), famous personalities (e.g., Gandhi), and the like. Additionally, this Center collects microfilms containing original source materials on various mission agencies, particularly working in Western Africa. It encourages other well-wishers to donate their books on the life, teachings, witness, and other works of Christians. The Center promises to take care of them and make them available to research scholars.

The Centre actively collects religious literature – scholarly and popular, mainstream and marginal, official and informal, periodicals and pamphlets – pertaining to African and Asian Christianity. If you wish to donate literature or know someone whom we can contact, please inform Professors Andrew Walls (wallsa@hope.ac.uk) or Daniel Jeyaraj (jeyarad@hope.ac.uk). We welcome you to see and make use of our collections.