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A leading collection of published material on British Methodism, with archival and other material.
The Wesley Historical Society library includes a number of documentary, visual and ephemera holdings, including some original letters from John and Charles Wesley.
Specific areas of interest include:
The AVEC consultancy archives are a valuable resource comprising extensive collections of background papers related to various phases of action-research into church and community development between 1976 and 1994.
Papers relating to the unsuccessful 1968 Anglican-Methodist Unity scheme, including those from Rev Professor C.K. Barrett and others opposed to the scheme.
The Oxford Institute is an affiliate of the World Methodist Council which has met in Oxford generally about every five years since 1958. It is a gathering of Methodist scholars around the world to foster and support disciplined theological study among professional scholars and scholarly ministers and laypersons within the Methodist and Wesleyan traditions.
The first Wesleyan Methodist training college for teachers was founded in Westminster, London in 1851 and moved to Oxford in 1959. It merged with Oxford Brookes University in 2000. The extensive archive contains official and personal papers, photographs and memorabilia covering over 150 years of the institutions history and heritage. This is also a major resource for educational historians.
There is also a collection of books by or about former staff or students of the College.
Dr Bartels, who trained at Westminster College 1931-35, was a leading African educationalist. A former pupil of Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, He returned to Ghana to become the first black African headmaster of the school between 1942-1961. His papers relate to his work with UNESCO and education in Africa, c.1960-c.2010.
Donald English was a leading conservative evangelical, a gifted speaker, the only person to be elected twice as President of the [British] Methodist Conference since Methodist Union in 1932. He was also Chair of the World Methodist Council 1991-96. His papers include some of his bible and sermon notes, and [cassette] recordings of many of his talks and addresses.
'Bill' Gowland (1911–1991) was a leading and influential figure in British Methodism. His evangelical background moved him into exploring radical new ways to make Christianity real in the changing world of the 20th century. He established Luton Industrial College, providing training, courses and conferences which dealt not simply with industrial ministry but with all aspects of the church's life in the modern world.
Methodist minister, missionary, preacher, writer and broadcaster. In Zambia 1956–1969 Rev Dr Colin Morris was elected first President of the United Church of Zambia. He became known for his passionate and outspoken views on political and social issues and was a close friend of President Kenneth Kaunda. A Methodist minister in Britain, in 1978 he joined the BBC, becoming Head of Religious Broadcasting and from 1987 to 1991 was Controller of BBC Northern Ireland. His books include 'Include Me Out', 'Unyoung, Uncoloured, Unpoor'.
Professor 'Reg' Ward was a leading historian of the English church in the eighteenth century. He became Professor of Modern History at the University of Durham and a Fellow of the British Academy. His books include Religion and Society in England: 1790-1850 (HarperCollins, 1972) The Protestant Evangelical Awakening (Cambridge University Press, 1992). He co-edited seven volumes of John Wesley's Journals and Diaries in the Bicentennial Edition of the Works of John Wesley (Abingdon Press, 1988-2003), also The Early Correspondence of Jabez Bunting (Royal Historical Society, 1972).
Many works in the collections can be viewed online