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The Inabelle Graves Coleman Papers, 1942-1981 (bulk 1952-1957), contain letters and more than 300 photographs documenting her life as a female Baptist missionary in Shanghai, China, and Taipei, Taiwan. Coleman was a school administrator, teacher, and author who lived much of her life abroad in service for the Southern Baptist Convention. Written almost entirely to family members, the letters date from 1946 to 1957, and contain information about her daily life and work; most were sent from Taipei, although some from Shanghai are also included.

The letters reveal tremendous enthusiasm for her work, the people around her, and those she brought into the church's ministry. This zeal for fostering the Christian life in others often overshadowed news of her regular teaching dutes, as she perhaps found no separation of the two. She wrote often of her students, and her concern for her family back in the U.S. Admiration for the people of Shanghai and Taipei are also evident. Letters frequently touch on her health while abroad, her physical surroundings, a tight schedule of teaching and ministering, and Grace Baptist Church, which she founded.

Photographs complement many of the letters, especially those about Grace Baptist Church and its programs. Subjects are mainly people and scenes in Taipei, although a large number are unidentified. Small series of photos include those of her assistants, Lillian Lu and Daisy, students, portraits of her family, as well as many of Grace Baptist Church. Included also are photographs of various church and school groups.

There are two autograph books from Chinese friends; manuscript writings include four articles written for the church, including one about the University of Shanghai's president. Also in the collection is a file of miscellaneous materials including a report of the Yates Baptist Association, biographical information, several business cards, a pamphlet in Chinese, an invitation, and clippings.