The Bishop Payne Library’s Rare Book Collection consists of approximately 5,000 books with primary emphases on Early English Anglican literature, Books of Common Prayer, Bibles, practical theology, and music. It also includes several incunabula. This collection offers a visual window into what is considered the Golden Era of Anglican Theology, dated approximately 1549-1700. The collection provides a special opportunity to see early editions of books authored by such Anglican luminaries as Thomas Cranmer, Richard Hooker, Lancelot Andrewes, Jeremy Taylor, William Law, and John Henry Newman.

From another angle, the collection offers the history of book printing in the hand-press period, 1450-1800. You can witness the books that were printed by many of the prominent early printers in England, such as Grafton and Whitchurch (the printers to King Henry VIII), and, in the 18th century, the well-known printer, John Baskerville, who also invented a type font named after him.

For more information contact us at Ask Librarian.

Book Conservation Desk in the Rare Book Room

Rare Book Room Research Table