Now we’re in the in the final stages of the Centre for the Studies of World Christianity Library (CSWC) Project, we’re receiving daily deliveries of books to New College Library from the Library Annexe.Nearly 7,500 items have already been reclassified with Library of Congress classmarks, with roughly 2,500 of these set be housed at classmark BV, Practical Theology & Missions. CSWC books can be identified on the library catalogue as “Andrew Walls Library Collection. From the Library of the Centre for the Study of World Christianity, University of Edinburgh. Presented by Professor Andrew Walls, OBE.” All of these items are unique within the University of Edinburgh Library, and I’ve found a number I’ve looked at to be unique in the UK.
I spent time this week looking through a selection of CSWC books that were published before 1900, and selected over 50 to be held in the Special Collections at New College Library. It’s fascinating to see how many titles are about women missionaries, or written by women, reflecting their engagement in the mission activity of this time. Many of these items have attractive pictorial Victorian publishers bindings, such as these books – A White Woman in Central Africa, Daughters of Syria and In Southern India.
Some items in the collection include signatures, such as the two Chinese-English dictionaries signed “Annie Buchan”, evidence that they were used by this missionary to China whose papers are in the care of the CSWC Archive. A number of volumes are signed by Robert Laws, Free Church of Scotland missionary to Livingstonia, Nyasaland (now Malawi), whose diaries are held in New College Library’s Special Collections at MSS LAW.
Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity