Following on from the integration of our historical images into the International Mission Photography Archive (IMPA) website in 2008, it was decided to increase the degree of overall access to the collections in the Basel Mission Archives. The website invites users to browse through a wide range of visual and cartographic sources as well as thousands of references to manuscripts and partially rare publications relating to settings in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe as well as several other regions of the World.
The objective of the website is to foster encounters with, and prompt questions about, various kinds of transfer and circulation of ideas, knowledge and values around the globe through space and time. The available images, maps, sketches, plans and catalogue entries offer evidence for various facets and patterns of human interaction, everyday life, education, health, religious practices, agriculture, material culture, scientific research, technological developments, and economic activities - just to mention a few of the broader thematic strands.
More generally, users are invited to explore the accessible material with a view to discover connections between the past and the present. Distinct search modes allow both for simple or more complex virtual voyages in pursuit of varied research interests. The latter constitute the basis for the common task of forging notions of “living archives” and “joint cultural and intellectual heritage”, thus rendering the website a platform for research in partnership.
Mission 21, founded in 2001, is made up of three previously independent missionary societies (Basel Mission, Swiss Moravian Mission and the Protestant Mission in Kwango, DRC) among which the Basel Mission is the largest. The main geographical areas of activity of the Basel Mission from its inception in 1815 until the mid-twentieth century were Ghana (from 1828), India (from 1834), China (from 1847), Cameroon (from 1886) and Kalimantan (from 1922). Today mission 21 operates in 17 countries with 60 partner churches and organisations. mission 21 is involved in numerous projects concerning the alleviation of poverty, promoting health, improving the position of women, conflict resolution and theological training. In Switzerland, mission 21 works closely with churches and other religious bodies, runs educational courses, organises exchange programmes and facilitates international research on a wide variety of themes related to mission work and development cooperation in past and present.
The Basel Mission remains the owner of its archives, but the archival staff is appointed by mission 21. The development of the websites of the Archives and Library of the Basel Mission / mission 21 has relied on the generous support of, and close collaboration with:
The USC Libraries actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge. The organisation develops collections and services that foster and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff; build a community of critical consumers of information; and help develop engaged world citizens. Through these means, the USC Libraries contribute to the continued success of the University of Southern California and actively collaborate with museums, historical societies, and academic institutions on a local, national, and international level.
This website is powered by Omeka open-source project, which was enriched with the instant search functionality and further customized by Klokan Technologies GmbH. The high-resolution images are streamed from the JPEG2000 format with the IIPImage software.
The archival information system used at mission 21 closely adheres to the international standards: archival description is done in compliance with ISAD(G), and individuals and organisations are described using ISAAR (CPF). In addition, thesauri are being used for geographical and subject terms. The synchronization with the website is implemented as OAI-PMH endpoint and uses the DublinCore metadata standard.
Basel Mission Archives / mission 21
Andrea Rhyn, M.A.
Technical service providers
Klokan Technologies GmbH, Baar/Switzerland
Innovative Web Developer for Culture Heritage
Petr Pridal, Oldrich Vykydal, Vaclav Klusak, Radim Kacer
Docuteam GmbH, Baden-Dättwil/Switzerland
Information Management and Archival Services
Tobias Wildi, Andreas Nef
Herrmann & Kraemer GmbH, Garmisch-Patenkirchen/Germany, Digitisation
Gut & Schön, Zürich/Switzerland
visual communication and graphic design
Informatik Atelier, Riehen/Switzerland
data processing services
DropNet AG, Münchenstein/Switzerland