The Rare Book Collection houses over 20,000 seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth century English tracts, pamphlets, broadsides and ephemera. They are especially rich in works about English religious life and controversies. For example, more than 200 deal with the Popish Plot of 1678. Anonymous pamphlets on a variety of political topics now attributed to Daniel Defoe are also available. Selected pamphlets can be accessed online through the HathiTrust.
Guides to selected tracts include:
English Dissent; Catalogue to an Exhibition of Eighteenth Century Pamphlets, 18 October to 18 November 1979 by Margaret A. Howell and Charles F. Mullett.
These materials are of particular interest to scholars of religious history and press freedom.
How to Use the Collection
The collection is available to all users in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours. Materials do not circulate. Rare books may be used in the Special Collections Reading Room during service hours or by appointment.