This collection of pamphlet material supplements the Library's cataloged collection of books related to the Catholic Apostolic Church. The pamphlets and books were acquired in 1973 from the Bodleian Library in Oxford and presumably represent duplicates in the collection which came to the Bodleian from Norman Priddle, librarian of the Catholic Apostolic Church.
The materials offer to researchers an opportunity to examine the life of the Catholic Apostolic Church in a way which would not have been possible during its active years, due to the desire of the Church to hold its more intricate beliefs and political struggles secret from the world at large. Biographical information about the important figures in the Catholic Apostolic Church is provided by the collection as well as bibliographic information regarding their writings.
It is difficult to determine how accurate a portrait of the Catholic Apostolic Church is provided by this collection. Although most of the apostles are represented, the degree of representation varies. No doubt the collection documents theological issues and historical controversies with corresponding inconsistency. The collection does, however, provide valuable insight into the Church's interest in prophecy, including specific predictions about the Eschaton, in Biblical number symbolism and in elaborate symbolism in liturgical practice.
One historian has characterized the liturgical emphasis of the Catholic Apostolic as follows; "Its quickly developed passion for gorgeous ceremonial and vestments, and its liturgical enthusiasm reflect the antiquarian and sensuous tastes of an age which studied as well as made history, which was devoted, however crudely, to art, and form, and color, and which gave birth to the Oxford Movement." (William A. Curtis, A History of Creeds and Confessions of Faith. Edinburgh; T and T Clark, 1911, p.378.) The theoretical writings and liturgical tools available in this collection provide a basis for fresh evaluation of the Catholic Apostolic Church's development of liturgy.
Series I, Sermons and Treatises, contains works on various subjects, arranged alphabetically by author. The titles and dates of these works are provided as available. Anonymous writings appear at the end of the series and are arranged chronologically. These anonymous documents are followed by one folder of pamphlets which were received with the collection but which could appear to have no direct relation to the Catholic Apostolic Church. It is possible that such pamphlets remain in the alphabetical section.
Series II, Historical Lists and Descriptions, includes Annals, Bibliographic information, Biographical Information, and Information regarding church buildings. The materials in this series provide concise documentation of the history of the church and its more prominent members.
Series II, Tools for worship and Instruction, includes Charts and lectionaries, Orders of worship, and Materials related to doctrinal instruction and polity.