Wesleyana Collection

Charles Wesley Psalms manuscriptThe foundation of the Pitts Library Wesleyana Collection is the Thursfield Smith collection of pamphlets, manuscripts, and first editions acquired for Emory University by Bishop Warren Candler in 1915. Though most of the manuscripts from that collection are located in the Rose Library, Pitts Library has a manuscript of Charles Wesley's poetic paraphrase of the Psalms, a portion of which is in his handwriting, and several pieces of correspondence to and from John Wesley.

Life of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Title PagePublications of others in the Wesley family are also represented in the collection, including a first edition of Samuel Wesley's The Life of Our Blessed Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.  An Heroic Poem (1693), which contains copper plates of biblical scenes designed by W. Fairborn.

The library also has realia, including a pulpit used by John Wesley, a medicine spoon owned by Francis Asbury, and a black bonnet donated by Bishop Warren Candler, as well as many objects from Methodist commemorative events.

Controversial Literature

The strength of the Wesleyana Collection at Pitts is the quantity of  materials from the prolific Wesley brothers and their associates and the collection of corresponding materials that establish the broader context of Methodism within English religious history. For example, both John Wesley and John Fletcher had an ongoing dialog in pamphlets with representatives of the religious establishment such as Sir Richard Hill and George Lavington, Bishop of Exeter.  These "debates in print" can be found by using the author's name or  "Methodist Church controversial literature" as search terms and then limiting the search by the dates of interest.

Richard Hill Title Page   John Wesley Title Page
1772 HILL:4   1773 WESL
Sir Richard Hill's scathing critique
of the Wesley's theology.
  John Wesley's Response to Hill.


The Wesleyana Collection also includes portraits of Methodist clergy, engravings of Methodist Chapels, and sketches of important persons in the history of the denomination, digitized versions of which can be found in the Pitts Digital Image Archive.

To better understand the historic and cultural context of  the Methodist Movement in Great Britain, see also the English Religious History Collection.

In addition to these materials, there is an article on the Wesley family that can be found here.