These archives document the work of the Committee in a thorough way. An historical awareness on the part of Committee members regarding the originality, integrity and success of this work for women by women is evident in the archives. The available records would support study of the Committee as a type of woman's movement emerging in the early twentieth century, as well as study of its strong-minded woman leaders, such as Clementina Butler, Helen Barrett Montgomery and Marion Van Horne. The archives contain valuable primary data documenting Christian literature initiatives and discussion regarding issues of indigenous language and art pertinent to the Christian literature enterprise.
The Organization and Policy Records of Series I provide systematic chronological documentation of the programs and status of the Committee. The bulk of the Series consists of the contents of "minute books" compiled by the Committee - notebooks including not only minutes of meetings but also pertinent memoranda and related documents.
The Committee did not have a full-time salaried executive director during the early years of its existence, but there was always a "chairman" of the Committee or prominent shaper and mover in the organization. The Executive Files of Series II are the files available for eight of these leaders. No files were available for Mrs. Henry W. Peabody who served as chairman from 1913 to 1919, but early documentation regarding the Committee is available in the files of Clementina Butler. Most extensive are the files of Marion Van Horne, who served as Executive Director from 1957 to 1981.
The Histories and Publications of Series III document the origins, development and program of the CCLWCMF. Narrative histories of the Committee, program booklets, and publicity brochures are included, as well as samples of periodicals sponsored by the Committee and a complete run of The Word at Work, which began as a publication of the World Literacy and Christian Literature Committee.
The core of the Committee's work was its financial support of publications and projects. Central to Series IV, Financial Records and Correspondence, is the so-called "Red Book" compiled by Sue Weddell in 1958. Through it, one can trace the operations of the Committee during its first five decades. The majority of the correspondence in this Series concerns two bequests received by the Committee. A bequest from Helen Barrett Montgomery was received before the Committee was incorporated and had to be placed under the aegis of another organization. This led to various complications.
The Surveys and Studies of Series V provide valuable documentation regarding indigenous Christian literature programs throughout the world during the 1960s and 1970s.
The Photographs of Series VI date primarily from the 1970s.
The Addendum consists of files that were transferred to the Yale Divinity Library from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature at the University of Florida. These files had been donated to Baldwin Library at some point in the past, without clear provenance. The material in the addendum dates primarly from the tenure of Marion Van Horne, who served as Executive Director from 1957 to 1981, with some minutes from earlier and later years.