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Library Details:

Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide


Library Type: Special
Address: Westminster College
Madingley Road
Cambridge CB3 0AA
United Kingdom
Chief Librarian/Director: Ruth McLean
African Specialist:  The Rev. Jesse Zink, Director of Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 330640
Web address:
Catalogue Address:
Description of Library: The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide is an associate institution of the Cambridge Theological Federation, specialising in the study of mission and world Christianity. The library supports teaching and research on mission in its various aspects and as it relates to other disciplines. For historical reasons the collection is weighted towards Africa and some of the books and periodicals will not be found elsewhere in Cambridge. It is particularly strong in the Christian church in Africa and its relations to African cultures and religions. The catalogue is part of the University’s Newton catalogue and can be searched online. A number of the periodicals can be accessed electronically through the University Library website. We also have a pamphlet collection, and a number of unpublished theses on African subjects. Most of the books are on the open shelves at the Library. Contact the Librarian, Ruth McLean:
Disciplines covered: African Languages
Economic and/or Social History
Politics and International Studies
Theology Divinity or Religious Studies
Countries covered: Burundi
Congo (Kinshasa)
East Africa
South Africa
Special Collections: At the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide, there is an especially strong East African focus, and this is exemplified by the Joe Church collection, which came to CCCW in 2006. This is an extensive collection of books, papers, sound recordings and photographs. It provides a unique insight into the East African Revival, in which Joe Church played a leading part. Smaller East African collections at CCCW include: the Leech collection (including newspapers) and the papers of Louise Pirouet. CCCW also holds papers relating to the St Julian’s Community, a rest home for missionaries, which had a base in Limuru, Kenya. These include documentation about the dispute over land rights at Limuru in the 1950s. The Kenyan newspaper Muigwithania – of which copies dating from 1928-29 are held at CCCW – documents the culture of the Kikuyu tribe and the political situation. Other important Africana collections at CCCW include the Congo Church Association papers and the Phillips collection. The first collection to be added to the archive, however, was the Hinchliff collection in 1996. This includes leaflets, books and correspondence relating to the Anglican Church in South Africa amassed by Peter Hinchliff, who served as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. Congo Church Association papers document the changing security situation in the Congo, and the Association’s newsletter describes various aspects of life in the Congo. The Phillips collection documents the history of the Niger Mission, which was established in Onitsha in 1857. It includes the photograph collection of Canon Foster, who became Principal of the Dennis Memorial Grammar School at Onitsha. Also included are papers and photographs relating to the life of Archdeacon Tom Dennis, who completed a new vernacular translation of the Bible into Union Igbo. Contact the Archivist, Lucy Hughes:
Collection Size: Books:450
Collection Start: The Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide Library was founded in 1898, and from the beginning held a rich collection of missionary biographies. Many books pre-date 1898 however. The collecting of archives began more recently, in 1996, but the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide holds archive material of Africana interest dating back to the late nineteenth century.
Access and opening hours: Access is by appointment made in advance with the Librarian or Archivist. Usual visiting hours are between 9 am and 3 pm. Non-members who are not with Cambridge University or Anglia Ruskin University will be required to register, bringing with them either a passport or driver's license. A letter of introduction is also required to view the archives.
Publications and databases on African collections produced by the Library: The papers of Bishop Philip Ridsdale were microfilmed by Adam Mathew Ltd. in March 2006. The Joe Church collection has been described by Terry Barringer, 'Recordings of the Holy Spirit', pp. 177-85 in 'The East African Revival: Histories and Legacies' ed. by Kevin Ward and Emma Wild-Wood (Ashgate, 2012).

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