Edith Georgina Johnston (Edith to her family and Georgina to her colleagues in Shanghai) was educated in Belfast and Bournemouth and came to Girton to read Economics 1912-15. At Girton she was active in the Christian Union (closely allied with the Student Christian Movement) and spent the year after College in training in London with the YWCA before going out to China under the British National YWCA in December 1916. After language study in Soochow, she became community service secretary for the City Association of Shanghai. She remained in Shanghai (apart from a year's study at the London School of Economics 1922-23) working for the YWCA in the area of economic and industrial relations and development in China.
She died very suddenly in 1925. Her obituary gives the cause of death as fever, although there is a family belief that she was murdered. She is buried in the Bubbling Well Cemetery, Shanghai.
The papers consist of reports [for the YWCA] and a talk about her work in Shanghai. All are copies without provenance, and some may have been published. There is also an obituary which details the circumstances of her death and appraises her work for the YWCA.
Four reports by Edith Johnston: 1917, May 1921 (for 1920), 1921, September 1923 - September 1924. The early reports contain descriptions of her travels in China (Hangchow, Soochow and Shanghai) and Bible classes for Chinese girls; later reports are more concerned with the industrial situation in China, including visits (one from Dame Adelaide Anderson, December 1923), meetings, trips and civil war.
'Industrial conditions in China': an address to the Leicester Rotary Club by Edith Johnston 12 Feb 1923.
'The Green Year Supplement' 1 Oct 1925, Shanghai, China, pages 1-2 with an obituary of Edith Georgina Johnston (copy).
The papers were given by Heather Nelson (nee Johnston), EGJ's niece, in January 2006. Her letter and email with the deposit contain further biographical information, and have been placed with the papers.