John Bunyan’s Works

Bruce Peel Special Collections acquired much of its Bunyan collection through Ralph Ford, who had been collecting Bunyan's works over a period of three decades in Bunyan's hometown of Bedford, England. In 1964, when Ford decided to part with the collection, Dr James F. Forrest, a Bunyan scholar from the University of Alberta, convinced Chief Librarian Bruce Peel to acquire the collection. A collection of Bunyan’s works, such as the one at the Peel library, is exceedingly rare since early editions of Bunyan’s works were originally cheaply produced, purchased by men of limited means, and eagerly passed around and read until they were worn out. Throughout the years, librarians and donors have strengthened the collection by adding early editions, translations, and illustrated editions. The collection is a tangible link not only to a historic period on a broad level, but also to the minds and experiences of generations of actual readers, since copies of Bunyan’s works were shared among many readers. Some rarities of the collection are a third edition of The Pilgrim’s Progress from 1679 (of which six copies are known in libraries around the world), a copy of the tenth edition from 1685 (one of six known copies), the seventeenth edition from 1710 (one of three known copies), and Bunyan’s first published work, Some Gospel Truths Opened (1656), known in only two libraries: the British Library and the Peel library.

Collection Formats: 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, 20th Century, Books -- click to see other collections with this format