Underneath crisp autumn skies in New Haven, the project team spent a few days on the campus of Yale University. With the expert assistance of Martha Smalley, Joshua Finnell pored over boxes of pamphlets, letters, and official correspondence from American Baptists in Burma. Documents in the archives ranged from the founding of the Pyinma Agricultural School to the Karen Theological Seminary. Of particular interest was a report on the 1941 Japanese bombing of Burma by Gustaf A. Sword, presented at the Mission Secretaries’ Workshop in Granville, Ohio. The depth and breadth of the missionary collections at Yale are quite remarkable.
The Yale Divinity Library will play a key role in this project as they continue to digitize their vast missionary holdings. For example, the Yale Divinity Library holds more than 25,000 missionary postcards. These postcards were produced by mission sending agencies and distributed throughout Europe and America with the intent of promoting support for the missions’ work and providing information about non-Western peoples and customs.
More than 6,000 postcards have been digitized and are accessible via the following two websites:
- ATLA Cooperative Digital Resource Initiative: 350+ postcards (Search or browse by collection)
- International Mission Photography Archive: 5900+ postcards (Restrict search to Yale and search for “postcard”)
We look forward to working with Martha Smalley, and the rest of the staff at the Yale Divinity Library, as our project expands.