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Day Missions Collection: Periodicals

This digitized collection of periodicals published by Christian mission agencies and worldwide religious organizations is drawn from the Day Missions Collection of the Yale Divinity Library. The periodicals, dating primarily from the nineteenth century through the mid‐twentieth century, provide documentation not only of the agencies and organizations' own activities in evangelization, education, and medical work, but also about the cultures in which they were active. Writings and reports of missionaries provide rare and important documentation of events, movements, and institutions in the far reaches of the globe. Their proximity to indigenous cultures allowed missionaries to witness the renaissance and modernization of these cultures and to interact in the process of societies emerging from imperial control.

The Day Missions Collection at the Yale Divinity Library is known as the preeminent North American collection for documentation of the history of the missionary enterprise and the development of Christianity throughout the world. The establishment of Christian missionary societies engaged in overseas evangelism, education, and medical work was an important social movement that emerged in the nineteenth century. By mid-century most Protestant denominations and many Catholic orders had created mission agencies and were actively recruiting missionaries to work in foreign lands. Yale Professor George Edward Day's proposal to create a Yale library dedicated to documenting this movement came at a time when the foreign missions enterprise was in its heyday and the Day Collection is well known for its breadth and depth.

Through the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Divinity Library has digitized 5,000 volumes of annual reports and periodicals from the Day Collection. This project complements work done earlier under a grant from the Arcadia Foundation to digitize 50,000 pages of annual reports. For more information about this digital collection, contact the Divinity Library via email ( or phone 203-432-5289.