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Hume Tracts


politics, economics, religion, education, social reform


Ca. 5,000 pamphlets

Scope and content

This collection was the working library of Joseph Hume (1777-1855), radical and politician. The subject matter of the tracts reflects the major political, economic and social developments taking place in Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century, including some of the causes championed by Joseph Hume during his parliamentary career, such as universal suffrage, Catholic emancipation, a reduction in the power of the Anglican church and an end to imprisonment for debt.

Much of the material consists of addresses written by radicals and nonconformists pressing for reform on a wide variety of issues. Themes that feature particularly prominently in the collection include parliamentary reform and the extension of voting rights, the abolition of slavery in British colonies, the condition of the working classes, the Poor and the Corn laws, child labour and the Factory Acts, and the expansion of education.

Many of the pamphlets contain Hume’s own annotations and his correspondence.


Joseph Hume bequeathed this collection to UCL in 1855.


The collection is fully catalogued. To browse the records, conduct a shelfmark search for Hume tracts on Explore. The collection has been fully digitised and is available through JSTOR.