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Wakefield Family Papers

Call Number: RG 183
Scope and Contents

These papers complement other collections at the Yale Divinity Library, including the Robert and Gladys Bundy Papers, Record Group 141 (colleagues of the Wakefields at Boone) and the records of Huachung University held in the Archives of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, Record Group No. 11. Quite apart from the China-related material in this collection is its interesting documentation of the treatment of tuberculosis in the United States during the 1930s.

In the Family Correspondence of Series I, letters written by Paul Wakefield to Olive from 1926 to 1927 provide valuable commentary on the political and economic situation in China and at Boone College. The General Correspondence: China-Related of Series II also provides detailed reporting of the situation in China, the siege of Wuchang, and mission "politics", particularly in substantive letters with Wakefield's colleague Robert Bundy and Bishop Logan H. Roots. Paul Wakefield was a man of strong opinions who did not hesitate to express his views. Also of interest in Series II are numerous letters from Francis C. M. Wei (1881-1976), who was President of Huachung University (Central China) and a prominent figure in Christian higher education and theology in China. Wakefield continued to receive correspondence from China after his return to the States, including a substantive series of letters from Bishop A. H. Gilman dated 1939-1946. The Topically arranged section of Series II contains both letters and other documents that provide information about Wakefield's work at Luchowfu Hospital and the circumstances surrounding his resignation, the seige of Wuchang in the fall of 1926, the development of Boone College and Central China (Huachung) University, the Wakefield's vacation home in Guling (Kuling), and the Nanking Incident of 1927.

The Writings, Sermons, and Speeches of Paul Wakefield in Series V include documentation of the Siege of Wuchang, medical subjects such as tuberculosis treatment, and devotional material. Of particular interest in Series V are writings by Minnie Vautrin describing the refugee work at Ginling College in Nanking during 1937-1938, as well as reports and writings by Francis C. M. Wei.

Series VI, Personal Items and Memorabilia includes biographical material, letters of condolence following Paul Wakefield's untimely death, and materials related to a controversial interview of Wakefield by New York Times reporter Frederick Wells in June 1927.

The Collected Material: China-Related of Series VII contains valuable documentation of the American Church Mission (Episcopal) in China, including printed newsletters of the District of Hankow (1926-1949) and printed newsletters of the Districts of Anking and Shanghai. Three issues of The Magpie, a magazine published by the students of Central China University provide fascinating insight into the campus life and issues of concern during the 1924-1926 period.

The Wakefield Papers also include photographs of the Wakefields, their colleagues and surroundings in China and samples of newspapers of the era from China and Japan.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Catharine Wakefield Ward.

  1. I. Family Correspondence
  2. II. General Correspondence: China-Related
  3. III. General Correspondence: Post-China Era
  4. IV. Writings/Sermons/Speeches of APW
  5. V. Writings of Others
  6. VI. Personal Items and Memorabilia
  7. VII. Collected Material: China-Related
  8. VIII. Collected Material: Post-China Era
  9. IX. Photographs
  10. X. Newspapers
4 Linear Feet (7 boxes)
Related Names
Wakefield, Arthur Paul
Bundy, Robert E.
Language of Materials