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English Civil War Pamphlets
(Penman Collection of Thomason Tracts)


The John Simpson Penman collection consists of 132 pamphlets, each individually bound in leather, generated during the English Civil War. Numbers 111-132 are dated between 1653 and 1686.

These pamphlets are known in Britain as the "Thomason Tracts" after their first collector and there is also a collection of them in the British Library. For bibliographical details about the collection formed by Thomason, of which this collection is a partial duplication, see:

Spec. Coll.
Z
2018
B85

Catalog of the pamphlets relating to Civil War, the Commonwealth, and Restoration collected by George Thomason, 1640-1661. London: Trustees of the British Museum. 1908.

A hand list to the Penman Collection, based on the British Library catalog, was prepared by Y. Iskendarian in 1963 and is shelved in front of the collection. The numbering in this list is not the same as that in the Thomason bibliography.

The collection was presented to the college in 1937 by the Revered John Simpson Penman (Class of 1884; B.D. Union Theological Seminary, 1887), a Congregational clergyman then living in Cambridge, MA. He first offered the collection to President Frederick B. Robinson on April 22, 1937, at the reunion luncheon of the Class of 1884 (CCQ: 33, n. 5: May 1937: 56). See also Board of Higher Education Minutes for March 21, 1938.

In 1929 Penman had published his Lafayette and the Three Revolutions for which he had purchased primary source material for his study. His collection of 450 volumes on the French Revolution, comprising both 18th and 19th century imprints, is catalogued and shelved in the "9" collection in the Closed Stacks. (See BHE Minutes for February 20, 1939.)

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