Dr. Samuel H. Moffett and Eileen F. Moffett (portrait, by Ewan McClure, at right) donated to Special Collections an important
and substantial body of personal papers, photographs, books, and periodicals on Korea
and Christianity in Korea. The bulk of the collection consists of the correspondence and
personal files of Samuel H. Moffett. Moffett’s professional correspondence includes
letters from Kenneth Scott Latourette, Roland Bainton, Carl Henry, and Billy Graham.
Personal files include drafts and final versions of Moffett’s many books and articles,
addresses and sermons in English and Korean, course descriptions and bibliographies,
reports on conferences, and clippings and articles on Korean history and culture. Of
particular note are materials about traditional Korean religions and “new religious
movements” such as those of Sun Myung Moon, files on the Korean Independence movement of
1919, and information about the Shinto Shrine controversy of 1936–1941. There are also
important documents connected to the history of Presbyterian-related institutions in
Korea, such as the theological seminary in Seoul and the hospital in Taegu, and
materials that help give a perspective on the various 20th-century divisions in the
Presbyterian Church in Korea.
Presbyterian missionaries in Korea, 1893
Samuel A. Moffett in brimmed hat, third from left
The papers include the extensive correspondence of Moffett’s father, Samuel A. Moffett, a
missionary founder of the Presbyterian Church in Korea. Other family papers include
correspondence from Samuel H. Moffett’s mother, Lucia Fish Moffett; his brothers James,
Charles, Howard, and Thomas; and Elizabeth Tarrant Moffett and Eileen Flower Moffett.
The Moffett Papers also contain a large collection of letters, diaries, pamphlets,
newspaper clippings, memoirs, minutes, and reports relating to many other Christian
missionaries and their families who worked in Korea from the late 19th century through
the 20th century. Among these materials are photocopies of the original diaries of
William Baird and C.F. Bernheisel; the memoirs of O.R. Avison; a voluminous collection
of letters from the Swallen family (from 1898 through the 1940s); materials relating to
the Underwood family, J.S. Gale, J.W. Heron, H.W. Lampe, and H.A. Rhodes; and
typescripts of letters written by Harold Voelkel that describe conditions during the
Korean War. Together, these materials tell a remarkable story of almost 100 years of
Presbyterian mission in Korea, and missionary commitment to Presbyterian ministries in
China, India, and the U.S.
The collection contains a large set of lantern slides, hundreds of photographs, and other
images, some of which date to the late 19th century, depicting Korean life and culture,
historic sites, early mission work, and the life and travels of the Moffett family.
Samuel H. Moffett has also donated to Special Collections his extensive library of books,
pamphlets, and periodicals about Korean history and culture and Korean Christianity.
These materials are available for scholarly research. Please contact Special Collections prior to arriving for a research visit.