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Gwen Coventry Papers

Call Number: RG 241
Scope and Contents

The Gwen Coventry Papers consist of 1 linear foot of material divided into five series:

I. Correspondence, 1958 - 1994

II. Notes and Writings, 1958 - 1990, n.d.

III. Documentation of Activities, 1975 - 1980

IV. Collected Material, 1976 - 1993, n.d.

V. Personal and Memorabilia, 1956 - 1979, n.d.

This record group provides a personal look at missionary work in northern India and Nepal between 1959 and 1979 and an institutional record of a United Mission to Nepal administrator between 1975 and 1980. In particular, it offers insight into the development of the UMN's activities in rural Nepal during these periods, especially the increasing distribution and diversification of services offered.

The first series, Correspondence, consists primarily of Gwen Coventry's personal letters to her parents, but also includes circular letters (addressed "Dear Friends") she wrote for UMN during her foreign missionary career.

The second series, Notes and Writings, contains observations of India and Nepal and personal reflections on the success of Gwen's missionary work, as well as outlines for talks and a series of handdrawn maps of the areas in Nepal in which Gwen worked.

The third series, Documentation of Activities, consists of reports, minutes, directives, and census data produced by Gwen or her colleagues primarily during her tenure as Community Health Director for Palpa District in Nepal. These papers include documentation not only of the Buling-Arkhala Project and the Food for Work Programme (both important UMN projects that Gwen helped to found), but also smaller projects like the Bojha Goat Improvement Project and census data and health records used to demonstrate the need for these larger projects.

The fourth series, Collected Material, consists of official UMN documents not directly related to Gwen's work, as well as some general material relating to Nepal or northern India. In this latter category is "Deforestation in the Mahabharat", a report on the economics of the region Gwen served perpared and published by her colleague, Gary Shepherd.

The fifth and final series, Personal and Memorabilia, contains newspaper clippings, a service bulletin, photos, and postcards, as well as an insurance policy and registration for a motorcycle in Gwen's name. It also includes a photocopied page from a book (possibly Jonathan Lindell's Nepal and the Gospel of God) which mentions Gwen's missionary work.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Heather Telfer

  1. I. Correspondence, 1958-1994
  2. II. Notes and Writings, 1958-1990, n.d.
  3. III. Documentation of Activities, 1975-1980
  4. IV. Collected Material, 1976-1993, n.d.
  5. V. Personal Items and Memorabilia, 1956-1979, n.d.
Majority of material found within 1958 - 1980
1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Related Names
Coventry, Gwen
Language of Materials