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Abbie G. Sanderson Papers

Call Number: RG 149

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection is Sanderson's detailed, regular letters to her family in the U.S. This record group complements the papers of other Baptist missionaries to South China held by YDSL, including those of the Campbell family, Hartwell family, Ellison and Lottie Hildreth.


  • 1907-1961




Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Existence and Location of Copies

Portions of the collection have been digitized. See:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Abbie Sanderson.


  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Writings, Diaries, Notes
  3. III. Personal Items and Memorabilia
  4. IV. Collected Material
  5. V. Photographs


4 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Detailed family correspondence, writings, and collected material document the life and work of a single woman missionary in South China. Abbie G. Sanderson was an American Baptist missionary in South China from 1918 to 1937 and 1946 to 1953. She later taught at a girls' school in Sendai, Japan, and retired in 1959.

Biographical / Historical

Abbie G. Sanderson was born in Greenville, New Hampshire on May 27, 1893. She graduated from Coburn Classical Institute and Colby College, Waterville, Maine. After teaching in Maine for two years, she sailed to Shantou (Swatow) in 1918. She served the South China Baptist Mission (American Baptist) in the Shantou (Swatow) area from 1918 to 1937 and 1946 to 1953, teaching at the Abigail Hart Scott Memorial School, also known as Kak Chieh Girls' School.

Primarily based in Shantou (Swatow), Sanderson spent some summer months in cooler areas such as Kuliang, Fujian (Fukien). She was on furlough in the U.S. during 1924, returning to China in December of that year. From May to October 1927 she was stationed in the Philippines due to disruptions in the Shantou (Swatow) area. Sanderson was on furlough in the U.S. in 1931, returning to Shantou (Swatow) in February of 1932. She extended her furlough in 1937 due to her father's health, and then was prevented by the war from returning to China until 1946. Sanderson was held in solitary confinement for twenty-one months prior to her release from Communist China in 1953. She taught at a girls' school in Sendai, Japan from 1954 until her retirement in 1959.

Processing Information

Place names were modernized in the description, with the name originally used in the collection material or in an older version of the finding aid in parenthesis: e.g. “Beijing (Peking)” or “Benin (Dahomey)”.
Guide to the Abbie G. Sanderson Papers
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Yale University Divinity School Library Repository

409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301