King's College London
Online Exhibitions
Highlights of the FCO periodicals collection

About The Chinese repository

A Christian hymn in Chinese by R.L. Shuck, a Baptist missionary, from October 1845 issue of The Chinese repository, vol. 14, 1845 [FCO Journals]A Christian hymn in Chinese by R.L. Shuck, a Baptist missionary, from October 1845 issue of The Chinese repository, vol. 14, 1845 [FCO Journals]The Chinese repository began publication in May 1832. From its beginning to 1847 its editor was Elijah Coleman Bridgeman, who, along with David Abeel, was one of the first American missionaries to China. Bridgeman entered China in 1830 at the request of the well-known Protestant missionary Robert Morrison.

The cow's complaint and the herd boy's song. A ballad in Chinese in the shape of the speakers from The Chinese repository, vol. 9, 1840 [FCO Journals]The cow's complaint and the herd boy's song. A ballad in Chinese in the shape of the speakers from The Chinese repository, vol. 9, 1840 [FCO Journals]He worked closely with Morrison who arranged to have a printing press sent out to enable the publication of periodicals about China. The printing press was donated by David W.C. Olyphant from funds raised in his church. Olyphant also provided travelling funds and a year’s living expenses for the missionaries. In addition to editing the journal Bridgeman also wrote over 400 articles for it. The majority of the other contributors were either missionaries like Bridgeman or merchants.

The Chinese repository attempted to offer a realistic view of China. The editors felt that the Catholic missionaries had been presenting a picture of China that was too biased in its favour. They wanted to show China with flaws. By doing this they hoped to attract more Protestant missionaries to China and raise more money to develop the missions. It was therefore in the interest of the editors to depict the Chinese as 'heathens' that needed converting.

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