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Royal Commonwealth Society : Church Missionary Society glass negatives and lantern slides

Church Missionary Society

Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'><p>Little is known of the provenance of the Church Missionary Society glass negatives CMS 18-22 and glass lantern slides CMS 24-35. They may have been produced to illustrate talks given by the CMS upon its missionary work. CMS 24 appears to be a commercial set of slides relating to Africa generally and is not the work of the society. The glass negatives and slides were unsorted when presented to the RCS in 1988. Some of the negatives had titles written upon the slide, but most were uncaptioned. They were re-organised along rough geographical lines and those without captions were given brief descriptive titles. Very little is known about many of the peoples, subjects and places depicted in the slides. The RCS will be grateful for any assistance to identify them more accurately. This may be achieved by research in the CMS’s periodicals including ‘Church Missionary Gleaner’, ‘Church Missionary Intelligencer’ and their successors, which reproduced photographs, and the society's archives which are held by the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham.</p><p>The Church Missionary Society was established in 1799 as a Christian evangelical missionary organisation and counted among its founders William Wilberforce, John Venn and Charles Simeon. The overseas mission work of CMS began in Sierra Leone in 1804 and expanded rapidly thereafter. In Africa the CMS's involvement has been concentrated in Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda and Sudan; in Asia, the society's activity has largely been in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China and Japan; and in the Middle East, it was active in Palestine, Jordan, Iran and Egypt. Much of its photograph collection documents the CMS's role in running schools, colleges, medical missions, hospitals and agricultural projects.</p></p>

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