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LCA Collection 018. Akins, Ethel Muriel. Personal Papers of Ethel Akins, 1913-1980: Overview

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Collection Description

Akins, Ethel Muriel.  Personal Papers of Ethel M. Akins, 1913-1980.  LCA Collection 18.  1 Records Center Carton, ½ Hollinger box, and ½ legal Hollinger box.

The Ethel M. Akins Personal Papers collection consists of correspondence to and from Ethel Akins, eight diaries, and various photos from Ethel Akins’s journeys to China, Japan, Tanganyika, Yemen, and Ethiopia.  The collection also includes various essays on Japan, China, and Taiwan, various testimonials, The Changing China Scene by Gustav Carlberg, two Watertown High School commencement programs from the Class of 1913, and the “Midwest China Oral History and Archives Collection” volume on Ethel Akins.

Biographical Note

Ethel Muriel Akins was born 7 March 1895 in Watertown, Minnesota.  She attended the University of Minnesota and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. After teaching for three years in Minnesota and South Dakota, Akins became a missionary to China in 1921.  She was commissioned by the Board of Foreign Missions of the Augustana Lutheran Church.  Akins attended the College of China Studies in Beijing from 1921-22 and served in China as an educator and evangelist in several locations from 1922-48.  Between 1949-51 she worked in Japan for the Board of Foreign Missions of the United Lutheran Church of America at its Girls’ School in Kumamoto.  Akins served as an Augustana missionary in Taiwan from 1951-62.  Akins died in Minneapolis on 27 December 1980. 

Scope and Content

The collection is divided into four sections:

Correspondence, 1921-1974: This includes Akin’s correspondence with Mr. J. P. Akins, Eleanor Anderson, Mrs. Ed Newstrom, Mrs. R. G. Ecklow (Maud Akins), Selma Hall, Berenice Newstrom, Lillie Wilson, Winnie Lundin, Mrs. S. V. Johnson, and Mrs. J. V. Johnson, as well as correspondence to and from Akins’ prayer partners, and miscellaneous correspondence.

Diaries, 1948-1980: Contained in this series are Ethel Akins’ handwritten diaries.

Photographs, 1920-1962: Portraits as well as photographs from Akins’ journeys to China, Taiwan, Tanganyika, Yemen, and Ethiopia.

Miscellaneous, 1913-1980: Programs from the Watertown, MN Commencement Exercises for the Class of 1913; five of Ethel Akins’ passports dated 1929-62; two blank wedding announcement cards; assorted essays on China, Japan, and Taiwan; the Midwest China Oral History and Archives Collection Interview of Ethel Akins; The Changing China Scene by Gustav Carlberg; a copy of the Agreement between Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church and Foreign Missions of the ALC; and various religious testimonials from Akins and other missionaries.        

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