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Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records: International Outreach and Missionary Committees

Identifier: QM-Phy-850

Scope and Contents

Combined records of: Women's Foreign Missionary Association (1882-1898) Friends' Foreign Missionary Association (1899-1923) Mission Board (1923-1950) Japan Committee (1951-1974) International Outreach Committee (1974-2015)

Contains minutes, reports, correspondence, financial documents, and other items (including images, diaries, calendars, bequest records, and miscellaneous papers).


  • Creation: 1882-1980


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Biographical / Historical

This finding aid contains records of the missionary and international outreach work of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting from 1882 to the present. Specifically, the work has been organized under five successive committee names:

1882 - 1898: Women's Foreign Missionary Association of Friends of Philadelphia (Orthodox) 1899 - 1923: Foreign Missionary Association of Friends of Philadelphia (Orthodox) 1923 - 1950: Mission Board (Orthodox) 1951 - 1974: Japan Committee (Orthodox and United) 1974 - 2015: International Outreach Committee (United)

The Women's Foreign Missionary Association began in 1882, and the constitution adopted in that year defined the Association's responsibility “to promote the knowledge of the Gospel among women and children in heathen lands, and to assist in the Christian education, as ability and qualification are given by the Lord.” As the statement suggests, the Association was concerned primarily with spreading Christianity, but also with education more generally for women.

By the turn of the 20th century, the Foreign Missionary Association of Friends had extended its scope to include men and its duties to several countries, cooperating with and eventually becoming Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Mission Board. As Japanese Friends took on more and more of the Mission Board’s work, the term Japan Committee came to replace Mission Board.

Until 1974, the work of these committees was focused in Japan, and included activities such as starting schools and setting up Quaker meetings. Tokyo Friends Center, Tokyo Friends Girls’ School, several Monthly Meetings, and eventually the Japan Yearly Meeting were all related to their work. In 1974, the new International Outreach Committee sought to broaden its focus and ended the formal relationship between Japan Friends and Philadelphia Friends. At that point, concerns for the Friends Girls’ School moved to the Friends Council on Education, intervisitation moved to the Friends World Committee for Consultation, and service is shared by the American Friends Service Committee and Friends Service Committee (London).


21 linear ft. (21 record boxes)

Physical Location

Haverford College Quaker and Special Collections

Physical Location

This collection is stored at the Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections.


Affiliations: Orthodox, United

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Records: International Outreach and Missionary Committees
Sophie McGlynn
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Quaker Meeting Records at Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections and Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library