The collection was first acquired in 1979 and has subsequently received several substantial additional collections including the Bristol Library for Biblical Research, the library of Echoes of Service in Bath and the collection of G.C.D. Howley, editor of The Witness magazine from 1955 to 1977.
Over 400 publishers of Brethren works worldwide are represented.
The collection is one of the best in Britain for the study of Brethren texts, and the biography of notable Brethren personalities and missionaries.
There are 280 periodical titles, and 17,500 books, pamphlets and tracts.
There is some bias towards British material but other languages represented include Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and some African tongues.
The following finding aids are available using the navigation on the left of the page:
- The complete collection can be accessed using the main library catalogue.
- An A to Z index of items acquired prior to 2003 is available.
- Separate lists of Brethren periodicals and current periodicals received since August 2005.
- 2002 edition of David Brady's Secondary sources of Brethren history: a bibliography.
- 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. 135-9.
Enquiries about the Christian Brethren Archive should be directed to David Johnston-Smith, Christian Brethren Archivist.