The CMS Archive

All of the periodicals for Module 1 of Church Missionary Society Periodicals are sourced from the Crowther Mission Studies Library at the Church Mission Society (CMS) in Oxford.

The Crowther Library contains around 29,000 books as well as current journals and back copies, including complete runs of Church Mission Society periodicals and overseas diocesan reports. The library was originally the Partnership House Mission Studies Library of post-1945 CMS and USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel) collections, and now also holds the records from the former CMS training college at Crowther Hall and, after its merger with CMS in 2010, the South American Mission Society (SAMS) archive.

The books and journals in the archive can be used to study a wide range of topics linked with the work of the Anglican Church across the world, particularly by CMS, USPG and SAMS missions, from church history, spirituality and missionary biographies, to contact with other nationalities and religions, and social, political and economic history. The Max Warren collection, to which all pre-1945 CMS material belongs, is a rich resource on the development of the modern missionary movement.

Please visit the archive website for access to the catalogue and further information.


Crowther Centre for Mission Education. Image © Church Mission Society

Crowther Centre for Mission Education. Image © Church Mission Society,


The periodicals in Module 2 of Church Missionary Society Periodicals come from the collections of both the Crowther Mission Studies Library and the Cadbury Research Library. The latter is the home of Special Collections at the University of Birmingham. These extensive archives house many different manuscript and rare book collections, particularly missionary archives, the records of Christian education and youth movements, nineteenth and twentieth century political papers, and modern literary collections. The archive also holds the largest collection of illuminated Middle Eastern manuscripts in the UK, as well as important medieval and early modern manuscripts.

Most of the Church Mission Society archives dating past 1960 are retained at the Crowther Mission Studies Library, Oxford, but many of the administrative records (accessible up to 1959), and a number of key publications are held at the Cadbury Research Library. The transfer of CMS papers from the society’s headquarters in London to the University of Birmingham began in 1979, with the most recent deposit of material received in 2000. Comprising an estimated two million items, the collection also contains the surviving records of the Female Education Society and the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society.

Please visit the Cadbury Research Library’s website for access to the catalogue and further information.