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The University of Manchester Library

Methodist Manuscripts and Archives

The MARC has the world's largest collection of manuscripts relating to the founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley and other members of their family. In all, the collection comprises approximately 5,000 letters, notebooks and associated papers of the period 1700-1865.

Prominent 18th century Evangelicals, other than the Wesleys, whose personal papers are represented in the collections include George Whitefield (1714-70), the Countess of Huntingdon (1707-91), Howell Harris (1714-73) and Benjamin Ingham (1712-72). In addition, there is a very large collection (44 boxes) of manuscript material relating to John Fletcher (1729-85) of Madeley and his wife Mary Bosanquet (1739-1815).

The Archives also include extensive small collections of personal papers of approximately 4,000 ministers and lay-Methodists from the 18th century to the present. These include Thomas Coke (1747-1814), Adam Clarke (1760-1832), Hugh Bourne (1772-1852), Jabez Bunting (1779-1858), John Ernest Rattenbury (1870-1963) and Dr Rupert Davies (1909-94).

The institutional records of Methodism are also well-represented. These include the records of the Methodist Conference and its several committees and large collections deposited by the administrative Divisions of the Church. There is material relating to all the major pre-union Methodist denominations.