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British & American Religion and Politics

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:

Five Views of An Age; A Selection of Late Seventeenth Century Pamphlets from Ellis Library’s Rare Book Room

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.

With a few exceptions, the collection can be accessed through the MERLIN library catalog.  Advice on using MERLIN to search Special Collections can be found here.

Finding Aids for British & American Religion and Politics

Daniel Webster Speeches Collection, 1806-1932


The Daniel Webster Speeches Collection contains pamphlets of speeches made by and about Daniel Webster, for the most part published during or shortly…

Fourth of July Orations Collection


The Fourth of July Orations Collection contains published pamphlets of addresses made on Independence Day from 1791-1925. The speeches explore topics…

John Tinney McCutcheon Collection of Editorial Cartoons

Treaty Breaking.jpeg

Biographical Sketch John Tinney McCutcheon (1870-1949) is often referred to as “the Dean of Cartoonists” and is best known for his political and…

Rare Book Collection


The Rare Book Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

Walter Williams Library


History Walter Williams (1864-1935) was President of the University of Missouri from 1930 – 1935 and served as Dean of the School of Journalism…

Selected Items

A sermon upon the late dreadful storm : preach'd in the Parish Church of St. Andrew's Holborn, November 28, 1704 / by Tho. Manningham.


4 unnumbered pages, 24 pages ; 20 cm (4to)
Title within double line border.
"Publish'd at the Request of some of the Inhabitants."
Text: Isaiah…

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