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Encounters with Christianity

Special Collections & University Archives, Rutgers Alexander Librrary

Many manuscript collections in Special Collections & University Archives are offsite and all require special attention by an archivist.  Please use the contact form to initiate a consultation about these or other mission-related manuscript collections. 

Relevant collections include

First Methodist Episcopal Church (New Brunswick, N.J.). Young People's Home Missionary Society, .1911 - 1917.  MC 792
Reba Snapp Ryder Missionary Collection

Special Collections and Archives, Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton

The Reading Room is quite small, with a limit of four researchers at a time by appointment. Researchers are asked to email directly ( to schedule an appointment and request materials. The room is open to researchers Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-3pm.

To search materials accessible in person, students can visit the Manuscript Collections Guide and keyword search ‘missions.’ Finding aids are also available for download through this site. Some popular collections that may be of interest to students in the course include:

Burke Library, Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University in New York City

Rutgers students must check in for each visit at the Library Information Office in Butler Library (on the main campus of Columbia, 114th St. and Broadway) during business hours with proof of vaccination and Rutgers ID. Hours can be found here.  You may also wish to consult a map of Columbia University's main campus, where the Library Information Office (LIO) is located.  The Burke Library of Union Theological Seminary is a branch of Columbia University Libraries and located a short walk uptown at 3041 Broadway.

To make an appointment and request special collections material, researchers are required to register their own Special Collections Research Account. You will need to provide a current address, email, telephone number, and other contact information. Upon your first visit, you will need to validate your account in-person with government issued photo identification or Columbia ID, and we will take your photo for security purposes.

Once you have created your Special Collections Research Account, you will be able to request appointments and materials from the same online portal. Up to 6 items or archives boxes may be requested per appointment. Burke staff will reply to requests via email. Reminder: Please do not travel to the Burke Library until you have an appointment confirmed by Burke staff.

Notable mission archives in the Burke Library include:

Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966
Finding aid (related resource)
Some_availableBurke [UTS] <Offsite> - Request at Burke Library (Non-Circ)



United Methodist Church Archives, Drew University in Madison, NJ

Use the research request form before visiting.  Major collections about the missionary activity of this church include:

Records of the Mission Education and Cultivation Program Department of the General Board of Global Ministries

1882-2001  146.36 cu. feet
The records of the Mission Education and Cultivation Program Department represents the written, visual and audio history of United Methodism's mission work. The Department was part of the General Board of Global Ministries. Today it is known as the Communications Department.
Microfilm Edition of Mission Board Correspondence
1884-1915  114 reels
Correspondence from Board personnel to missionaries in the field and to various institutions, 1884 - 1915.
Mission Geographical Reference Files
1920- 1970  69cubic feet
The geographical reference file collection was created by the former Board of Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Church. The purpose of the reference files was to provide information quickly about institutions or mission areas related to Methodism.

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