Our materials relating to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions can now be found in our online catalog. This list of Frequently Asked Questions will help you locate materials about the American Board in the library and archive.
How many items do you have about the American Board?
We have over 1,200 records for materials about the Board. This includes published books, pamphlets, sermons, periodicals and manuscript collections.
What types of materials do you have in your collection?
Some examples are: the collected papers of select missionaries; annual reports from the Board and individual stations; histories of the missions by country; pamphlets on medical missions and the history of mission schools.
Here are some of the highlights of the collection:
I am researching the American Board in [a certain location], what are some ways I can narrow down my search?
You can start with a general keyword search of "american board [location]". For an example, we'll use Turkey. Enter your search terms in the "Search for" field. The basic search searches for all of your keywords, but you can also expand or limit your search using the drop-down menu.
With these three keywords, "american board turkey", you will get just over 100 results:
To find out more about and item, click on the title.
Now you can see more information about this pamphlet, including subject headings. In this case, you might be able to further narrow your search by clicking on the links.
If you would like to see this item, you can locate the call number here, and list it on a request card.
How else might I search the collections?
You can also browse the catalog indexes. If you wanted to find everything we have on missions in China, you can go the "Browse" tab.
Enter your search term in the "Search for" field, then select the index that you would like to search in.
Here we are searching for China in the Subjects. To see the results, click "Go".
You will then see all subject headings containing your search term(s). You can check the box next to the subjects you are interested in and click "View selected" to see only those records.
I am searching for a missionary, but they do not appear in your catalog, what should I do next?
The library has a searchable index of necrologies (obituaries) printed in various periodicals, including many biographies of ABCFM missionaries. There is also a Frequently Asked Questions page for the necrologies.
If you find your missionary in the necrology search, it is likely that their biography will be in a set of four volumes commonly referred to as "the Vinton books" (simply "Vinton" in the index's Publication field), which can be found in our Digital Resources section.