Roy and Clara Creighton Papers
Scope and Contents
Many of the letters in this collection were published by Roger L. Creighton as a book entitled "84 Randall Ave. The Lives of Roy and Clara Creighton; Letters of 1908-1978" (in YDSL cataloged collection).
These papers provide valuable insight into the work of a missionary architect and building supervisor who worked primarily in China, first for the YMCA and later for the Presbyterian Mission Board. The letters are primarily from the Creightons to their family members in the U.S., at first primarily their parents and siblings, but later their children. Periodic circular letters by the Creightons provide succinct summaries of their work. The letters of Clara Creighton from China provide an excellent record of the daily life of a woman missionary who was primarily a mother and homemaker, including documentation of the social life of mainline Protestant, city-based missionaries.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Roger L. Creighton
- I. Correspondence, with enclosures, 1908-1972
2.5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)
Language of Materials
Consisting primarily of correspondence between the Creightons and family members in the U.S., this collection provides valuable detailed information about Roy Creighton's work, the life of a typical missionary wife, and the complications of raising a family on the mission field. Roy Creighton was an American architect who supervised the construction of buildings on the mission field. He served under the YMCA and Presbyterian Board in China, at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and Robert College in Turkey. He also taught at the Engineering School of the College of Chinese Studies. Clara Creighton was a missionary wife and homemaker.
Biographical / Historical
- Roy Lamont Creighton born
- Clara Linn born
- After graduation from Harvard, Roy went to Hangzhou (Hangchow), China as a Building Supervisor for the YMCA
- 1916 January
- Move to Hankou (Hankow)
- 1916 August
- Clara came out to China and they were married at Guling (Kuling)
- Roy supervised hospital construction at Boone University, Wuchang
- 1917 June
- Son, Linn, born
- Roy worked for Architects Bureau of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in Shanghai
- Furlough in U.S.
- Daughter, Marjory, born; died in 1922
- Son, Roger, born
- Daughter, Phyllis, born
- Following furlough in the U.S., the Creightons when to Beirut, Lebanon (Syria) where Roy supervised construction at the American University of Beirut.
- Following furlough in the U.S., the Creightons went to Istanbul, Turkey, where Roy supervised the building of a library for Robert College.
- Following furlough in the U.S., the Creightons returned to China, based in Beijing (Peking). Roy taught at Engineering School of the College of Chinese Studies and traveled to supervise construction of Presbyterian Mission buildings.
- Clara and two younger children evacuated to U.S. due to war conditions; Roy remained in Beijing (Peking).
- 1941 December
- Roy interned by Japanese
- 1943 December
- Roy repatriated to U.S.
- Roy working at New York office of Presbyterian Mission Board
- Roy to Shanghai to rehabilitate mission properties
- Roy and Clara to Shanghai, evacuated to Hong Kong
- Roy and Clara in Thailand
- Roy and Clara in New York, Presbyterian Board offices
- Roy retired
- Roy died
- Clara died
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 Roy and Clara Creighton Papers
- Compiled by Alice Yafeh and Martha Lund Smalley
- Description rules
- Finding Aid Prepared According To Local Divinity Library Descriptive Practices
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Yale Divinity Library Repository
409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US