Putnam, Katharine (Deaconess). Papers

Identity elements

Reference number


Level of description



Putnam, Katharine (Deaconess). Papers


  • 1917-1970 (Creation)


.6 cu.ft. (2 boxes)

Name of creator

(1889- c.1970)


Upon completing her studies at the Philadelphia Church Training and Deaconess House in 1917, the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society appointed Katharine Putnam to the Shanghai District in China. She arrived on August 18, 1917 and was assigned to the Yangchow mission as a support worker. In 1920 she was set apart as a deaconess. For the next three decades, she worked throughout China where she taught English, prepared educational materials, held short-term school appointments, trained women evangelists, and served as Bishop Graves’ secretary. During this time she traveled back and forth between the US and China before her final departure from China in 1950 with the onset of the Communist regime. After forty-one years of service, Deaconess Putnam retired in 1958.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Papers of Katharine Putnam document segments of her work as a deaconess stationed in China in the decades leading up to the Communist revolution in the late 1940s. The correspondence and diaries present limited details of Putnam’s life with the most documentation dating from World War II. Photographs comprise the bulk of the collection, most of which are related to the China Mission with approximately one fifth being cultural scenes of China. Also included are several liturgies written in Chinese as well as an album of photos and inscriptions that was created as a memento to Putnam upon her departure from China in 1950.


Correspondence 1917-1970
Diaries 1917-1950
Author's Works (KP), 1928, 1936, 1937
Memorabilia, 1937-1947
Visual Materials
Print and Pictorial Records

Conditions of access and use elements

Access conditions

Access to Episcopal Church records is governed by the Archives Public Access Policy. Research requests must be submitted in writing.

Technical access

Rights and permissions

The Archives is able to respond to limited requests for reproductions subject to copyright restrictions, internal policy, and the condition of the source documents.

Languages of the material

  • Chinese
  • English

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Descriptive inventories

Acquisition and appraisal elements


Related materials elements

Related records and archives

Overseas Department. China Missionary Personnel Records

Related descriptions

Notes element

Description control element

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places