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American Sunday School Union Collection

240 items.

The American Sunday School Union was founded in Philadelphia in l8l7 as the Sunday and Adult School Union, and changed its name to the ASSU in l824. Its aims were to educate children and adults and teach them to read through the use of booklets published by the Union, and to send missionaries out to frontier areas.

Books published by the Union were strictly non-denominational, and were intended to promote literacy, moral conduct and good citizenship.

The religious and moral tracts published by the Union in Philadelphia between 1825 and 1840 are bound in 50 volumes, housed in their own miniature pedimented bookcase. All the tracts appear to be scarce even so far as the main American library collections are concerned.

Finding aids

  • Card catalogue.
  • See also B.J. Scragg, 'A Collection of American Chapbooks in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', American Studies Library Newsletter, vol. 22 (1986), pp. 4-7.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library