The Pioneer Press 'Pamphlets for the People'
The book collection comprises approximately 10,000 volumes, combining those of the South Place Ethical Society, the Rationalist Press Association, the Coit Memorial Library and the National Secular Society. The Library originated in the 1840s as a general lending library for members, but now specialises in subjects relating to ethics, Humanism, rationalism and philosophy.
Among the subjects we collect are animal rights, business ethics, civil rights, education, environmental issues, family issues, free speech, health issues, and medical ethics.
Particular areas of interest include the history of science and religion, genetics, evolution and consciousness, the history of ideas, biographies of eminent freethinkers, and the history of ethical and humanist organisations.
The Library houses runs of many rare and important nineteenth century freethought journals, including The Freethinker, The National Reformer, The Republican, The Agnostic Journal, The Literary Guide, and The Secular Review. Our own journal, Ethical Record, has been comprehensively indexed. Recent issues have been catalogued on computer, and older issues are being added. Records for other journals will be added in the future.