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Yale promotes collection on Chinese Christianity

NEW HAVeN (SE): The Divinity Library at Yale University in the United States of America (US) has announced that it has formed an agreement with the Hong Kong Baptist University to increase its documentation of contemporary Asian Christianity.

An article published in the Yale Daily News on April 5 says, “The Hong Kong Baptist University is an excellent partner for us because of its library’s rich, special collections focussed on the history of Christianity in China.”

Materials to be included in the microfilm collection of publications by the Chinese Christian Literature Council to be stored at the Divinity Library in Yale include books, periodicals, reports, archives and personal papers.

The agreement is ongoing, but each individual project will need to seek separate funding. However, the initial funding will be provided by the Kenneth Scott Latourette Initiative for the Documentation of World Christianity.

The Yale Daily News reports says that the project will build on seven years of collaboration between the US and Hong Kong universities, which in 2005 worked together to improve the documentation of Asian Christianity at Trinity Theological College in Singapore.

The most recent project was the digitalisation of Hong Kong denominational periodicals.

Administrators at the Yale Divinity Library say that it already possesses an expansive collection of material on Chinese Christianity, with the period prior to 1950 being especially strong.

Paul Stuehrenberg, a staff member of the library, said that it is well used, as researchers from China regularly come to access the collection, as many of the items are not available in China.

“We have one of the best mission archives in the world here at Yale, but collaborating with libraries and centres that have Chinese language archives of unique or rare texts will benefit us, the host institution and wider scholarship,” he commented.

The bottom line of the project is described as increasing knowledge of how Christianity is practiced in China among religious organisations.

Amanda Patrick, the director of communications for the library in Yale, said that the collection will make an invaluable primary source material bank for the study of Chinese Christianity.

The Hong Kong Baptist University was founded in 1956 and has three campuses in the city.

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