Special Collections has nearly all of the printed works of John Wesley (1703-91), the founder of Methodism. Other works by Charles Wesley and other Methodist religious and historical figures are present in first and early editions. In addition, the Library holds more than 4,000 holograph letters and documents by significant historical leaders including John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, Thomas Haweis, Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, Littleton Fowler, Martin Ruter, and a collection of manuscripts and portraits of presidents of the British Wesleyan Methodist Conference. Sixteenth- through eighteenth-century holdings that support the study of the early Methodist movement include works on English church history, theology, liturgy, hymnology, religious polemic, and philosophy. British and American nineteenth-century religious imprints document the history and development of Methodism. Additional resources include books collected by Frederick D. Leete and William C. Martin by and about Methodist bishops, a representative collection of hymnbooks published by various Methodist denominations, denominational records, and periodicals.
Active collecting interests:
- Authors (printed works and manuscripts): John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon, George Whitefield.
- Additional authors: Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, Littleton Fowler, Thomas Haweis, Martin Ruter.
- Texts and genres: Pamphlets, tracts, debates and controversies, histories, biographies and personal narratives, hymnbooks, denominational records, and periodicals. Works concerned with African-American and Latino churches in the South and Southwest.
- Geographic scope: Great Britain and the United States (Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries). For the United States (Twentieth century), of particular interest are materials concerned with Texas, the South, and the Southwest; the current areas of the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
- Chronological scope: Eighteenth century to the present, with limits noted under geographic scope above.
Page Thomas, ed. I am Your Affectionate Brother JWesley. Dallas: Bridwell Library, 1994.
Richard P. Heitzenrater. “Faithful Unto Death”: Last Years and Legacy of John Wesley. Dallas: Bridwell Library, 1991.