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Disruption of the Church of Scotland
University of Guelph, McLaughlin Library

Free Church of Scotland; Patronage, Ecclesiastical--Scotland; Church and state--Scotland

Begun in 1975 with the acquisition of a collection of 110 pamphlets, the collection was slowly expanded until 1983, when an additional major collection was acquired to bring the total to approximately 450. Since then, a major bound volume was acquired from the Library of the Free Church College in Edinburgh with 110 pieces of primary material, mainly consisting of broadsides of petitions (signed), notices, monthly statements, posters, etc. These documents date from November 1842 to August 1845 and concern the establishment of the Free Church of Scotland. Also included are pamphlets, beginning as early as 1817, concerning the problems which led to the Disruption; pamphlets by the eventual leaders in the schism from this early period; and pamphlets from the post-Disruption era to the 1890s, when attempts were made to re-unite the various splinter churches.

The greatest strength of the collection is the primary pamphlet and broadside material, which all sides of the controversy used to build and defend their cases. However, material on all aspects of the Disruption is collected, from the early publications of the ministers who became the leaders in the movement, to primary and secondary sources on early controversies that led to the Disruption in 1843 and to later works about the period and attempts up to the present day to reunite the various sects that came out of the schism. Of special importance are the few contemporary works, primarily in pamphlet form, of the Disruption in Canada and particularly in Ontario.

Virtually all of the material is English language, although a few items were published in Gaelic. Secondary material is acquired in any language, but almost no secondary titles have been published in other languages.

500 pamphlets; one bound volume of 110 pieces of pamphlets, leaflets and broadsides concerned with the founding of the Free Church; 69 items in the archives; supporting secondary materials of 75 monographs and 6 serial titles.

Bibliographic Access
All titles are catalogued or coded. Access is via the On-Line Public Access Catalogue or the CDROM catalogue. LC classification is used. Government documents are coded in the CODOC system. The archival collections are coded in an adaptation of the cataloguing and coding system.

Physical Access
For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: Available except for rare and archival materials.

Reprography: As the condition of the material warrants, and as the copyright allows.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
Reid, W. Stanford. -- "The Pamphlet Collection on the Church of Scotland's Disruption of 1843". -- Collection update. No. 7 (May 1983). -- [Guelph, Ont.] : University of Guelph Library, 1983. (Note that this article is rather outdated since much of the collection has been added since. However, it is still useful).