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English Tract Collection

15,000 items.

The Library holds very extensive collections of tracts on political, economic, social and theological subjects.  

Many of these date from the Civil War period, with over 745 items associated with parliamentary matters, fifty-five relating to Oliver Cromwell and 351 specifically concerned with Charles I. This last figure includes eighteen editions of Eikon Basilike from the first edition of 1648 onwards.

In 2005 the Library acquired a collection of forty full- or half-sheet broadsides from the early years of the Commonwealth period. Dating from February 1649 to April 1651, this assortment of acts, orders, resolutions, declarations, votes and reports documents the turbulent years immediately following the execution of Charles I.

Several of the broadsides relate to the outlawing of ‘impious and blasphemous’ publications, while others concern the apprehension of traitors, thieves and highwaymen.

Finding aids

Recorded in general printed-book catalogue; a partial chronological index is available.


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library