The Bampton Lectures

A copy of the 1878 Bampton lectures has the inscription ‘Presented to Her Majesty The Queen [almost certainly Victoria] by her humble & faithful subject, The Author.’ The ‘Author’ in question was Charles Henry Hamilton Wright, an Irish Anglican clergyman who delivered his lecture at Oxford, on the subject of Zechariah and his Prophecies. Given the book’s presence in the library one can only assume the Queen found little to interest her in its pages, but for those interested in the Bampton lectures an extensive collection can be found on the Pusey House Library shelves!



Mother Marian (Marian Rebecca Hughes) (1817-1912)

A copy of an 1841 edition of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Four Gospels (first volume) turns out to have belonged to none other than Mother Marian:

Marian Hughes

The inscription dates from 1842, when Mother Marian would have been 25 years old, and is written from Shenington, her birthplace in Gloucestershire. A year earlier, Marian had become the first female since the Reformation to take religious vows, inspired by an essay of Edward Bouverie Pusey’s she had read in 1839. She took her vows privately before Pusey early in the morning of Trinity Sunday before receiving holy communion. At a time when there were no Anglican sisterhoods, this move demonstrated the strength of character and force of will for which Marian later became renowned.


A pencil note in the same books also reads, ‘This copy came from the Convent of the Holy + Undivided Trinity, Southleigh, when that Society dispersed its books. It is of interest as bearing the name of the foundress.’ Marian officially founded the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, later noted for its austerity, in Oxford in 1851, and based it on the character of the French Ursulines. She remained Mother Superior of the convent until her death in May 1912, aged 95. During her life, as well as after her death, she was celebrated for her altruism, such as her work during the cholera epidemic of 1854 and commitment to helping the poor. She and the other members of her sisterhood also ran schools and an orphanage. Further information and the Mother Marian archives can be accessed at Pusey House Library.


Fundraising, Project news

Well, that escalated quickly…

So, you may be aware that the Library has been running a crowdfunding campaign at to raise money towards the costs of the cataloguing project.

The direct costs of the project are being funded externally from a variety of sources: mostly via grant-making trusts of various kinds. We have received grants from the Foyle Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Chichester Theological College Trust, the William Delafield Charitable Foundation, and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, and there are further applications in the pipeline.

We decided to launch a Crowdfunding appeal to raise some money directly from our supporters, Friends, and library users too. Crowdfunding is rather like an old fashioned public appeal, except instead of little envelopes and collecting boxes, it all happens online.Charity tin

Like this, but on the internet

We chose a target of £2,200, which covers a good round 5% of direct costs for 1 year of the project, and also seemed like an achievable goal. The campaign launched on 5th October (a few days after the first member of project staff began working in the Library) and will close on 9th November (a few days before the second member of project staff gets stuck in).

However, less than half way through the campaign time-wise (we’re on day 14 of 35), we have already more than reached our target. This means:

  1. We are very happy
  2. We are now aiming towards a new stretch target of £10,000

Year one of the cataloguing project is fully funded, but we are still raising funds towards the second year. The more we can raise directly from our supporters, the less we need to raise from grant making organisations.

Conversely , the more we can raise directly from our supporters, the more likely grant making organisations are to offer us money, as it displays popular support for the plan, a healthy relationship with our visitors, and a bit of initiative!

So, the appeal continues on until 9th November, and additional donations are still very welcome.

Thank you all very much.

Project news, Team

Meet the Team – 1


The first member of the project team to be appointed was Isobel Galek, who started work as library assistant on the cataloguing project at the beginning of October.


Isobel grew up on the south coast of England and began to love books from an early age. She studied BA English Language and Literature at Keble College, Oxford, and finished with first class honours, having won the Robin Geffen prize for English at the end of her first year. Whilst at Pusey House she hopes to get a better idea of her own future career, although she is planning to work with books (and their contents) longer term, hopefully in an academic setting. Her interests include reading, especially literature and history, and writing.

Book plates, Books, Historical documents

Leighton Pullan

Pullan 2

Interesting documents in Pusey’s 1924 copy of Leighton Pullan’s Religion Since the Reformation: Eight Lecturesa letter congratulating him on the book and a telegram from the Clarendon Press: ‘The world is already shouting for a volume on the Reformation or (and) a volume on Religion before the Reformation and will not be satisfied with any but you as the author’.

Pullan 3


Leighton Pullan (1865-1940) was an historian, clergyman, and Fellow and Tutor at St. John’s College. He is also the author of works such as A Guide to the Holy Liturgy of St John Chrysostom and The Reformation in Great Britain. His Eight Lectures were delivered at the University of Oxford in 1922. For the Pullan archives refer to the maroon catalogue books in the Pusey House Library.

Pullan 4


Project news

Cataloguing is go!

Pusey House and Library

Pusey House was founded in 1884 as a monument to Dr Edward Bouverie Pusey (1880-1882), Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University and Canon of Christ Church Cathedral. The House supports the work of the University of Oxford by providing a chaplaincy together with a theology library of some 75,000 volumes, but is a stand-alone institution which does not receive University funding. Pusey House is a registered charity (no. 247627) under the care of a Board of Governors who act as trustees. It employs a Principal, a Chaplain, a Librarian, and a part-time administrator. The work of the Chapel is supported by interns, and the work of the Library is supported by a part-time cataloguer. Both the Chapel and Library have a network of volunteers.

The Library consists of both special collections (early printing, specialised books and modern manuscripts) and a working academic Library. Dr Pusey only obtained books which he could not consult elsewhere in Oxford, and after his death his friends purchased his Library to be his memorial. His collection continues to be updated with modern scholarly works on subjects of interest to Dr Pusey, including Anglo-Catholicism, Church history, and texts written in the time of the Early Church. Our materials on the founders of Anglo-Catholicism have been recognised by The National Archives as being of international importance. Pusey House is open to all, and its central Oxford location makes it accessible to a wide range of people including students, local historians, ordinands, and passing members of the general public.

The Project

The Library is raising funds towards online cataloguing of 29,000 post-1800 monographs onto Solo (Search Oxford Libraries Online) the combined catalogue of the Bodleian Libraries, most Oxford University College libraries, and selected independent libraries within the city. By the end of the proposed project all of the Library’s post-1800 printed books will have records available online, which will have a highly positive impact on the accessibility of material. The project will benefit the 12 million people who use Solo each year, particularly the 1000+ students and 150 Fellows and teaching staff of the Faculty of Theology and Religion.

Many books in our collection are unique to the UK (7% of post-1800 monographs), or are the only copy available in Oxford (17%). With researchers and academics increasingly relying on digital services to discover materials, uploading records to an online catalogue is the next step in making the collection more widely available.

In order to realise our ambition to have a high quality online catalogue as soon as possible, additional staff are being employed to work intensively on a time-limited cataloguing project. To make the most efficient use of funds, a professional cataloguer will deal with the 10,000 most complex items, while a library assistant will update records for 19,000 items requiring less detailed work. Both staff will also carry out other administrative tasks associated with cataloguing as required, and assist in supervising the reading room. 4 Pusey House Library (002)