Our archive is operated by Mission 21 and mainly contains holdings of the Basel Mission since 1815 but also of related institutions like the Basler Handelsgesellschaft (Basel Mission Trading Company and Union Trade Company - BHG / UTC), the Kooperation evangelischer Kirchen und Missionen (Cooperation of Protestant Churches and Missions - KEM) and the Basler Mission deutscher Zweig (Basel Mission German Wing -BMdZ).
Following on from the integration of our historical images into the International Mission Photography Archive (IMPA) website in 2008, it was decided to increase the degree of overall access to the collections in the Basel Mission Archives, including the written documents as well as thousands of maps and plans.
In the meantime an entire archive catalogue is available to researchers and interested users. The website invites users to browse through a wide range of visual and cartographic sources as well as thousands of references to manuscripts and partially rare publications.
Our archives document more than 200 years of world history comprehensively and in many facets. 2000 linear metres of records, 60'000 historical photographs from before 1950 as well as over 7000 maps and plans testify to the mission's activities all over the world. The Basel Mission was founded in 1815. Its mission fields were mainly Ghana, Cameroon, Southern India, Southern China and Kalimantan (Indonesia).
Researchers from all over the world visit the archives in Basel. They come from a wide range of disciplines such as history, ethnology, anthropology, religious studies, geography, economics and linguistics. People and organizations from the former mission areas contact us to learn more about their own history.Descendants of former missionaries find letters and further documents of their ancestors in our archive. The photo collection of the Basel Mission includes unique images from all over the world from the beginnings of photography up to around 1950.
Mission 21, founded in 2001, is made up of three previously independent missionary societies (Basel Mission, Swiss Moravian Mission and the Protestant Mission in Kwango, DRC) among which the Basel Mission is the largest. Mission 21 operates internationally to bring about a fairer world. All over the world, Mission 21 work to promote peace, improve education and healthcare, and to support agriculture and livelihood security. Mission 21 focus its efforts on women and girls in particular. In 20 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America,, Mission 21 involved in over 100 projects in the fields of long-term development cooperation, emergency relief and reconstruction. Mission 21 works jointly with over 70 partner churches and partner organisations across the globe, and is engaged in professional exchange and cooperation at eye level. In Switzerland, Mission 21 carries out educational work and contributes to interfaith understanding.
The Basel Mission remains the owner of its archives, but the archival staff is appointed by Mission 21. The development of the websites of the Archives of the Basel Mission / Mission 21 has relied on the generous support of, and close collaboration with:
The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge. The organisation develops collections and services that foster and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff; build a community of critical consumers of information; and help develop engaged world citizens. Through these means, the USC Libraries contribute to the continued success of the University of Southern California and actively collaborate with museums, historical societies, and academic institutions on a local, national, and international level
Basel Mission Archives / Mission 21
Patrick Moser, PhD
Andrea Rhyn, M.A
Technical service providers
CS2 AG Sissach/Switzerland
Docuteam GmbH, Baden-Dättwil/Switzerland
Information Management and Archival Services
The archive does not receive any external or other financial support. Projects of the archive are only possible with the generous support of foundations. For the long-term preservation of the archives we are dependent on donations. Become a donator too and support the preservation of our unique cultural heritage! For more information send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the Donate button on our website.