The world-renowned archives of the Basel Mission and Mission 21 are open to interested parties for research purposes. Researchers from disciplines such as history, ethnology, anthropology, missiology, religious studies, geography, economics or linguistics will find archival materials (files, historical images and maps) from the early 19th century. In addition, there are more recent archival materials from other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America in which Mission 21 and its supporting associations are active, as well as the archives of the Mission Action Society.
In our research archive you will find for example:
Reports from the operational areas
Example: Quarterly report from Abokobi Station (Ghana), May 19, 1879, written by missionary Heinrich Bohner, call number D-1.31,45.
Historical photographs from 1860
Example: Street scene in Bombay, signature QQ-30.021.0022.
Historical maps and plans
Example: Map of Hong Kong from 1905, call number 98602.
Consultation of archival documents in the reading room
The archive is available for research purposes. Please register your visit to the archive well in advance. Ordering archival materials must be done in advance by e-mail. For this purpose please consult ► www.bmarchives.org. Archival records can only be viewed in the reading room and cannot be borrowed. An annual user fee is charged.
You will receive a brief reply to written inquiries, for example, whether or not files are available on a particular subject. Search requests are subject to a fee (see list of fees above). As a rule, only short searches can be undertaken.
Monday - Friday 09.00 - 17.00
The archive will be closed for revision from November 20 to December 1, 2023.
The number of workstations in the reading rooms is limited. We ask for advance reservation.
Please send us your request by ► E-mail
Online archive bmarchives
On the website bmarchives you can research our holdings online. In addition, you will find digitally more than 30,000 images from the period between 1850 and 1945 and over 6000 maps and plans from the archive.
For reproduction of archival materials, please contact the archives (firstname.lastname@example.org). For images created before 1900, as well as images after 1900 for which the copyright is held by Mission 21, digital copies in higher resolution can be ordered. The fee for this is 60 francs per image or 150 francs if redigitization is desired.
To order images from our archive, please use our order form.
The images may not be used for commercial purposes or in any racist or sexist context.
"Friends of the Archives.
The Mission 21 research archive documents more than 200 years of mission and world history. The maintenance of the archive with its offers for researchers worldwide, indexing, conservation and digitization projects is complex and cost-intensive.
The archive receives no external financial support. In order to continue to make the archive available to researchers in the future, Mission 21 relies on donations. This will enable us to continue to process further holdings in the future and to secure the unique cultural assets of the archive through digitization. Donate for the archive and become a "Friend of the Archives".
Support from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for the Promotion and Preservation of Armenian Language and Culture is supporting the research archive of Mission 21 in the digitization of the "Armenian holdings" from the period 1819-1838. The Caucasus region was the first ever field of work of the Basel Mission.
One picture - one story
Under the title "One picture - one story" we present in the magazine begegnen each a particularly concise picture on a topic of the respective issue. The articles offer a good insight into the diversity of our archive. Articles published so far:
- Issue 2/2023: Knitting socks for the emperor. ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2023: What pictures tell and conceal. ► Download PDF
- Issue 4/2022: Link between past and present. ► Download PDF
- Issue 3/2022: In action for Switzerland ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2022: A portrait to remember ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2022: Pastor Essoka holds up a mirror to us ► Download PDF
- Issue 4/2021: Genealogy with surprises ► Download PDF
- Issue 3/2021: We face history. ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2021: Using disinfectant against pest rats. ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2021: How to translate the word "God"? ► Download PDF
- Issue 4/2020: Oasis in the city of Basel - yesterday and today ► Download PDF
- Issue 3/2020: Picture template with message ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2020: High-altitude air as an elixir of life ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2020: Sea and man ► Download PDF
- Issue 4/2019: Fire Brigades Hong Kong ► Download PDF
- Issue 3/2019: Independent and flexible thanks to bicycle ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2019: The foundation of the Dayyak Church ►Download PDF
- Issue 1/2019: Music from Europe ►Download PDF
- Issue 4/2018: Women's lives outside common role expectations ►Download PDF
- Issue 3/2018: Waiting for peace ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2018: Two days after the revolution ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2018: A landscape of Bibles ► Download PDF
- Issue 4/2017: The man with the bell ► Download PDF
- Issue 3/2017: African cocoa with Basel roots ► Download PDF
- Issue 2/2017: Sixteen years of island hopping in the South Seas ► Download PDF
- Issue 1/2017: A mission feast under palm leaves ► Download PDF
You can reach us from the SBB train station by bus no. 30 to the "Spalentor" station and from there it is a few minutes' walk.