The historical images in the International Mission Photography Archive come from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections held at a number of centers in Britain, Europe, and North America. The photographs record missionary endeavors and reflect the missionaries’ experience of communities and environments abroad. There are examples of the physical influence the mission presence brought –seen in churches and their surrounding settlements-- as well as examples of the cultural impact of mission teaching and Western influence, including schools, hospitals, training programs, Christian practices, and Western technology and fashions. The pictures document indigenous peoples' responses to missions and the history of indigenous churches which are often now a major force in society. They also offer views of traditional culture, landscapes, cities, and towns before and in the early stages of modern development.
The USC Digital Library (USCDL) helps fulfill the mission of the USC Libraries to actively support the discovery, creation, and preservation of knowledge and develop collections and services that support and encourage the academic endeavors of faculty, students, and staff. Spanning a wide range of visual media, the USC Digital Library offers digital images of drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, as well as audio and video recordings. Encompassing the subject strengths of the vast collections of the libraries at the University of Southern California, these materials represent the applied sciences, fine and decorative arts, history, performing arts, and social sciences. A portion of the images contained in the USC Digital Library come from the collections of collaborating institutions which, like USC, have valuable archival collections that are of interest to a wide range of people.