An occasional series on the Sarum College Library reveals some of the lesser-known treasures in the 40,000-strong collection, especially in the areas of ecclesiastical and local history
Sarum College has one of the largest theological libraries in southern England which is well-appreciated by our students,” says Jayne Downey, Sarum College Librarian. “Our collection is less known for its historical volumes, many of which can’t be found anywhere else outside the Bodleian and Cambridge University and which are invaluable to researchers of ecclesiastical history.”
Architectural historian John Elliott, who specialises in church history during the Victorian period, is researching and writing the series.
“I was surprised how much historic material there was in the stacks and how easily I managed to find the primary sources I needed,” Elliott says. “The Sarum College collection is a rare resource.”
From the Stacks has launched with the publication of The Sarum College Library – A Whirlwind Tour, an overview of library holdings to highlight the collection’s main features, and John Jewel: A Key Figure in Defining the Anglican Church. The series will continue with occasional articles on specific themes within the collection.
The launch also includes an article on the Sowter Collection by Jenny Monds, Sarum’s Director of Learning Resources. “This important donation added thousands of books to the library and gave the collection an impressive selection of titles on local and ecclesiastical history as well as clerical directories that are useful for genealogical research.”
Among Sarum’s special collections are 5,000 antiquarian books, church music resources and an archive on Christian Socialism.
Anyone can become a member of Sarum College or use the library on a day basis.