Rev. John Williams (1796-1839) went to Tahiti (French Polynesia) as a missionary in 1816 and was active in the Society, Hervey, Southern Cook and Samoan Islands. In 1839, he moved to Fasitoouta, Upolu, in Samoa and began a station there. On November 20th of that year, he was killed at Erromango, New Hebrides (Vanuatu). Rev. Robert Bourne (1793-1871) went to the Society Islands as a missionary in 1817. In 1822, he began the mission at Tahaa. He left Tahiti in 1827 and retired to England in 1829.
The principal item on the microfilm is a journal describing a voyage made by the Reverends John Williams and Robert Bourne from Raiatea to Aitutaki, Mangaia, Atiu, Mitiaro, Mauke and Rarotonga, Cook Islands, in July-August 1823, to propagate the Gospel. The journal appears to have been written, or written up, by Bourne. There is a subscription in ink by Williams on the last page. Some passages in the journal are the same or similar to those in William's 'A Narrative of Missionary Enterprises in the South Sea Islands', London, 1837. Other items on the microfilm are:
- A letter from Williams to his family from Raiatea, dated November 9, 1822.
- A copy of a letter from Tamatoa, chief of Raiatea, to the President of the United States, dated Raiatea, September 10, 1829.
- A letter from Williams to A. Birnie, dated Raiatea, February 27, 1830.
- A letter from Williams to his sister Mary, dated Portsea, June 17, 1836.
- A letter from Williams to his sister, dated Cape Town, July 14, 1838.
- Copy of an extract from the minutes of a meeting of the London Missionary Society in Samoa on March 30, 1840, concerning news of the murder of Williams in the New Hebrides and his associate James Harris.