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Constance Buell Papers

Call Number: RG 140

Scope and Contents

This is a compact but valuable collection that provides thorough documentation of Constance Buell's education work in Tianjin (Tientsin), China. These papers complement the papers of Buell's American Board colleague in Tianjin (Tientsin), Earle Ballou (YDSL RG 165). Substantive letters to family and friends and fairly consistent and detailed diary entries provide insight into Buell's daily work, relationships with colleagues, and views on events in China. Buell's internment in Weixian (Weihsien) is not well documented. There are more than 150 photographs; most are well identified. Buell is a prime example of an intelligent and well-educated single woman who carved out for herself a missionary career that provided professional challenge, ample opportunity for travel and adventure, and satisfying relationships with colleagues.


  • 1918-1976


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Constance Buell.


  1. I. Correspondence, 1919-1976, n.d.
  2. II. Diaries, 1918-1958
  3. III. Writings and Notes, 1938-1958, n.d.
  4. IV. Personal Items and Memorabilia, 1920-1951
  5. V. Photographs, 1952-1958, n.d.


2 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Substantive letters and detailed diary entries document Buell's daily work as a missionary, her relationships with colleagues, and her views on events in China. Constance Buell was an educational missionary in north China from 1919 to 1951, serving under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). She taught at Kobe College in Japan from 1952 to 1958.

Biographical / Historical

1891 December 15
Born in Wellesley Hills, MA
Graduated from Wellesley College, began teaching in Massachusetts schools
Served under North China Mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; Principal of Stanley Memorial School for girls; Vice-principal under a Chinese principal after the school became coeducational. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she also taught English and music. Spent time in a Japanese internment camp at Weixian (Weihsien).
Repatriated on the Gripsholm
Returned to China
Taught English at Kobe College, Japan until her retirement

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 Constance Buell Papers
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
1998, 2010
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

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