The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge came into being at the end of the 17th Century in the Church of England’s reaction from the Age of the Restoration. It was the first of the great Anglican humanitarian and missionary societies, but concentrated always on Christian literature and education, in the British Isles as well as overseas.

In the first half of the 18th Century it was already an extremely active body, and the Archives contain a great many Papers from that period. These Include voluminous Minutes and Reports; a variety of Books of Account covering all aspects of the Society’s finance; many Papers concerned with education, social reform, or conditions in overseas territories (America, Asia, Africa); and, in particular, substantial series of Letters. These last include the “New England Letters” and “Letters to Jamaica” as well as the profuse domestic correspondence and abstracts of all incoming letters, for which historians are indebted to the diligence of the Society’s famous Secretary for most of the first half of the century Henry Newman, by birth an American.

The early archives are on microfilm and, in addition, some particularly important material relating to later periods (e.g. The Pitcairn Island Register, dating from the first settlement following the mutiny on the Bounty).

  • Part A: Minutes and Reports 10 reels
  • Part B: Financial Records 10 reels
  • Part C: Letters and Memorials 13 reels
  • Part D: Special Subjects (Foreign Affairs, Translations and Libraries) 8 reels

41 reels
Reference: SPK