menu icon mobile devices search icon mobile devicesSearch the site

Unitarian College Printed Collection

25,500 items.

The collection consists of 12,000 books, 11,100 pamphlets and 2,400 periodical volumes. Only the pre-1801 items (approximately 13 per cent of the total) are shelved at the Special Collections Division on Deansgate.

Although the earliest books and pamphlets derive from the 1520s, the vast majority were printed between the 1640s and the early 1970s.

There is good coverage of Puritanism and of all the Old Dissenting denominations, including the Quakers, but the real strength of the collection lies in material for the study of Presbyterianism and Unitarianism in England, Scotland, Ireland and America.

Writers represented by 100 or so editions and critical works include Theophilus Lindsey (1723-1808), Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), Thomas Belsham (1750-1829), William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), James Martineau (1805-1900) and Alexander Gordon (1841-1931). Unitarian hymn-books, liturgies and local histories also abound.

However, as it was built up as the working library of a theological college, many non-religious works are also represented.

See also the Unitarian College archives.

Finding aids

  • Card catalogues.
  • 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. 111-17.


Main Library and The John Rylands Library

Can we help?