It took me a while to write this blog article, not due to its planning, but rather because I had a busy time with a lot of Covid-related travel preparations and restrictions.
In May 2021, I applied successfully for a three-month research scholarship of the German Historical Institute London and now, at the end of August, fully vaccinated and equipped with (german and british) Negative Tests and visa, I was finally ready to travel and arrive in the UK.
As this research blog emerges with my current research, I had two different ideas to proceed with the next articles; Either I could start chronologically and explain step by step what I have done so far and what I intend to do in the future. Or I let you dive with me right in my current situation and then provide you with the historical background.
I decided for the second way and therefore, I will explain why I travelled to Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I will spend the next six weeks here in order to visit and read the manuscripts of the Church Missionary Society Archive (1799-2009) at the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham.
You might ask yourself: “Wait, what? Why does he talk about missionaries? I thought this is all about Quaker Whalers and Māori.” Well, history is unfortunately very complex and one cannot tell all its strings at the same time, yet I will, nevertheless, only focus on the interactions of Missionaries with Māori individuals and Whalers.
Until the next blog post, I will leave you with two monographs of Ballantyne and Middleton, which are two very helpful sources to start with the history of the Church Missionary Society and their encounter with Māori individuals in the early 19th century.
Ballantyne, Tony (2014): Entanglements of Empire. Missionaries, Māori, and the Question of the Body. Durham & London: Duke University Press.
Middleton, Angela (2014): Pewhairangi. Bay of Islands Missions and Maori 1814 to 1845. Dunedin: Otago University Press.