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Congregational College Printed Collection

2,300 items.

The Library holds a substantial collection of printed books from the Northern Congregational College, formerly the Lancashire Independent College.

The collection, purchased in 1974-5, comprises 1,878 volumes containing 2,300 items. 390 volumes were published in England or on the Continent before 1640.

Among these are eleven incunables (the earliest of 1480), but most date from 1550 onwards. They cover a wide range of subjects, although inevitably there is a bias towards theology.

The remaining 1,488 volumes were printed between 1641 and 1928, but mainly before 1800.

They comprise Bibles and religious works by Anglican, Nonconformist and foreign authors. The Dissenting element is a large one and is particularly strong for the 1640s to the 1690s, including 95 volumes by the Presbyterian Richard Baxter (1615-1691), many of them first editions, as well as writings by John Owen (1616-1683) and other early apologists for Independency.

See also the Congregational College archives.

Finding aids

  • Uncatalogued; however, incunabula are recorded in the general printed-book catalogue.
  • See Clive D. Field, 'Sources for the Study of Protestant Nonconformity in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester', Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, vol. 71, no. 2 (1989), pp. 108-11.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library