Library Collection

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Copyright holder:
Ethical Record
Ethical Record
The Pioneer Press 'Pamphlets for the People'
The Pioneer Press ‘Pamphlets for the People’

The book collection comprises approximately 10,000 volumes combining those of South Place Ethical Society Library, the Rationalist Press Association Library, the Coit Memorial Library and the National Secular Society’s collection. The Library originated in the nineteenth century 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 free speech, education, environmental issues, animal rights, business ethics, civil rights, family issues, health issues, lifestyle choices, business ethics 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.

You can search these collections on the online catalogue.



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, the Ethical Record, has been comprehensively indexed and are all now available in digitised form on our website.


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