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D.T. Niles Papers

Call Number: RG 260

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the life of D.T. Niles who was a noted author, ecumenical leader, and evangelist in Sri Lanka. It is predominantly comprised of correspondence that varies from the personal to the business of leadership in ecumenical circles. The collection also features a small amount of correspondence to Niles’ wife, Dulcie Niles, and his father, W.D. Niles. The Collected materials series is comprised mostly of news clippings that document D.T. Niles’ travels and speaking engagements as an ecumenical leader and evangelist. It also includes biographical information on Niles’ grandfather, Daniel Poor Niles, obituaries, and book reviews of Niles published material.


  • 1907-1970


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Niles papers were received with the archives of the Christian Conference of Asia. His personal papers were separated while the records relating to his leadership role in CCA remain in that collection (Record Group No. 237).


  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Family Papers


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


This collection documents the life of D.T. Niles (1908-1970) who was a Sri Lankan Methodist minister, ecumenical leader, and evangelist. Niles held several positions in ecumenical leadership including Chairman of the Youth Department of the World Council of Churches, Chairman of the World Student Christian Federation, and General Secretary for the East Asia Christian Conference. The collection include correspondence and collected materials relating to Niles' work and personal life.

Biographical / Historical


1908 May 4
Daniel Thambirajah Niles was born in Tellippalai, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the son of W.D. Niles a district judge, and comes from a long line of ministers
Bachelor of Divinity from the United Theological College in India
Taught at Jaffna Central College
1935 December 25
Married Dulcie Solomons
Ordained and appointed District Evangelist of the North District of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
Evangelism Secretary of the World Alliance of YMCA in Geneva
Secretary of the National Christian Council of Ceylon
Pastor at Maradana, Colombo
Pastor of the Methodist Church at Point Pedro
First Chairman of the World Council of Churches' Youth Department
Executive Secretary for the Department of Evangelism of the World Council of Churches
Chairman of the World Student Christian Federation
Principal of Jaffna Central College
General Secretary of the East Asia Christian Conference
H.E. Fosdick Professor of Union Theological Seminary, New York
Chairman of the Methodist Churches in the northern district of Sri Lanka
President of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka
1970 July 17
Niles died from cancer at the Vellore Mission Hospital in India. He was survived by his wife, Dulcie; two children Dr. Preman Niles and Rev. Wesley Dayalan Niles

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 D.T. Niles Papers
Mary N.S. Richardson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding Aid written in English.

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