New Zealand & Polynesian records from colonial missionaries, 1838-1958

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New Zealand & Polynesian records in the USPG archive

New Zealand & Polynesian records in the USPG archive

It is a most opportune grant for the benefit of the native man, at a time when their feelings are excited against English rule, and doubts are raised of the advantages derived from English colonization
Bishop of Wellington, Jul 1860New Zealand papers, 1840-1875; img 10

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New Zealand and Polynesia through the eyes of missionaries, 1838-1958

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This collection comprises the C series records relating to the early history of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia (C/NZ), along with selected volumes from the series of copies of letters sent and received (CLR & CLS), consists of files relating to the establishment of the Society's activities in the province, and the development of a diocesan organisation to support them. Correspondence was entered into by the SPG, the Colonial Office in London and the ecclesiastical officers in the colonies. The records also include printed reports, annual returns, and financial statements almost a hundred years, from the second quarter of nineteenth century, with the addition of one volume of letters received from the Diocese of Honolulu, in the north of the Polynesian region, over a forty year period from the 1870s until it fomally became part of the Episcopal Church in America. Of special interest among the papers relating to the diocese of Melanesia is the private correspondence and journal of its first bishop, John Coleridge Patteson.


New Zealand & Polynesian records from colonial missionaries, 1838-1958...

Containing 8,524 pages belonging to 45 documents housed in 5 volumes...

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Melanesia Diocese, 1838-1958

C/NZ/MEL. The two boxes of Melanesian files consist almost entirely of the private correspondence of John Coleridge Patteson. Consecrated the...

New Zealand Diocese, 1838-1875

C/NZ/NZ. The files for New Zealand include the correspondence and journals of Dr. Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand; along...

Copies of letters received, 1841-1928

CLR. Copies of the most important letters received [i.e. those read before the Society] have been kept since 1833. Therse...

Copies of letters sent, 1842-1931

CLS. Comprises four volumes of letters sent by the Society in London, again including general correspondence for New Zealand, Polynesia...


  • The papers from New Zealand, between 1840 and 1875, include descriptions of missionaries' early encounters with Maori natives. Both sets of papers from New Zealand have contents lists at the end.
  • Papers from Melanesia Diocese are mostly one Bishop's correspondence, from 1855 to 1871. Early letters describe his travels and his feelings about the Maori. These documents usually have contents lists at the front.
  • The copies of letters received are indexed in the 'Indices to the New Zealand province records…' These listings are limited to names and places. The letters cover how grants were spent, including causes like hospitals.
  • The copies of letters sent include some from the West Indies. These items are indexed in the 'Indices to the New Zealand province records…' Subjects covered include grants and how places were allocated Bishops.
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