Reading Overstone Library Pamphlets

(Collection description created in 2002. Links checked 2009)


Reading University Library, Main Library

Publication date range


Number of items


Description of the collection

The pamphlets catalogued for the project are part of a collection amounting to nearly 8,000 printed volumes, broadly humanities and social sciences in scope. It is strong in economics, including early pamphlets, also travel, history, literature and classics, and political and religious philosophy. The emphasis is predominantly English and Scottish, and eighteenth-century, with French works coming a strong second. Many seminal writings of the period are present.

The Overstone Library is, in addition, a handsome example of a nineteenth-century private library, displaying a concern for good copies and the best editions, well printed and well bound.


The core of the Overstone Library was collected by John Ramsay McCulloch (1789-1864), the political economist, from at least as early as 1821, when he purchased pamphlets from the library of Rogers Ruding. On McCulloch's death, his library was bought by his friend and collaborator Samuel Jones Loyd, Baron Overstone (1796-1883), the banker. He added to it, and it remained at his seat Overstone Park, Northamptonshire, until his daughter, Lady Wantage, bequeathed it to the University College Reading in 1920.

Language(s) of the material

English and some French


Find out about conditions of access. The Overstone Library includes many relevant items in addition to those catalogued for the project, accessible via the Library's opac.

Library's online catalogue

Search the library's online catalogue.

This collection has not been digitised

Copac is a national, academic & special library catalogue

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