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Slessor, Mary Mitchell

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 MS 380621
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
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Full title: Slessor, Mary Mitchell
Date(s): (1877-1913) 1986
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 file
Name of creator(s): Slessor | Mary Mitchell | 1848-1915 | missionary


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in Aberdeen, 1848; moved with her family to Dundee; began work in the linen mills aged 11, c1859; came under the influence of a local minister and became leader of a Christian youth club; felt a call to serve in Calabar, Nigeria; the United Presbyterian Church Mission Committee eventually agreed to send her to Calabar as a mission teacher, 1876; went to work alone among the Okoyong, 1888; lived in traditional housing with outcast women and twins she had rescued, dressing simply; pioneered an alternative way of engaging in mission; as British colonial authority proceeded inland she worked among the people affected, 1903; as a result, new stations were created; continued to live as head of a household of African women and children until her death at Use, 1915.


Scope and content/abstract:

Typescript transcriptions, 1986, of letters of Mary Slessor in West Africa, written between 1877-1913 to various recipients, the subjects including her missionary work, life in Africa, religious reflections and Presbyterian church matters, fellow missionaries and other Europeans, and indigenous inhabitants.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired in 1986.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies holds a press cutting on Mary Slessor, 1936 (Ref: CBMS/H/PB39 Box 104 File 39 no 10), and photographs of the Mary Slessor Memorial Window, Dundee (Ref: CBMS/H/PB55 Box 120 File 55, CWM/LMS Home Photographs Box 1).

Further papers of Mary Slessor are at Dundee Museums and Art Galleries, Dundee Central Library, Dundee City Archives, and the National Archives of Nigeria. For further details see the National Register of Archives. Edinburgh University, New College Library, holds records of the Calabar Mission, including material relating to the work of Mary Slessor.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Sources: Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, ed Gerald H Anderson (1998); National Register of Archives; Archives Hub.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2002

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