"This generous grant will provide for the full processing and preservation of these historic archival collections to the highest professional standards for scholarship, theological education, and service to communities around the world," said John Weaver, director of The Burke Library.
The Missionary Research Library (MRL) Archives contain over 160 unique collections from missionaries and missionary organizations from six continents in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with special strength in early twentieth century China, Japan, and Korea. Because they emphasize field reports, demographic surveys, and other analytical data, the MRL Archives document the cultural realities of indigenous populations to a breathtaking level of detail, with relevance to scholars of religion, historians, anthropologists, economists, and medical researchers, among others.
The William Adams Brown (WAB) Ecumenical Archives contain over thirty archival collections initiated in 1945 at Union Theological Seminary as a source for the documentation and study of modern ecumenism. Today the WAB Archives include records of national and international ecumenical organizations, research reports from New York City associations of religious communities, and records from ecumenical conferences that have shaped global Christianity, including Protestant and Roman Catholic dialogue.
"We are delighted that the Luce Foundation can play a part in The Burke Library's preservation of these important collections, so that they can be readily accessible to a wider readership," said Michael Gilligan, president of the Henry Luce Foundation. "Although these collections are distinct from our own archives, they are clearly linked to two parts of our history—Henry R. Luce's intention to honor his parents, Presbyterian missionary educators in China; and the foundation's early support for Christian ecumenism."
The Henry Luce Foundation is dedicated to encouraging the development of religious leaders through theological education, and fostering scholarship that links the academy to religious communities and other audiences.