James G. Birney collection of anti-slavery pamphlets
Scope and Contents
The collection consists chiefly of the original anti-slavery pamphlets assembled by the American abolitionist, James G. Birney. The collection also includes a few newspapers, offprints, and newspaper clippings. The collection spans the years 1784-1909. Later items were added by Birney's son, William, to include the subjects of pro-slavery, African colonization, politics and campaign literature.
- Creation: 1784-1909
- Birney, James Gillespie, 1792-1857 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Biographical / Historical
James G. Birney was an attorney, abolitionist writer and publisher. He was born in Kentucky in 1784 to a wealthy, slaveholding family, but he abandoned a successful law practice to become an agent for abolitionism. Birney hoped to accomplish the abolition of slavery through political means and through the publication of books, pamphlets, and newspapers. He was the Liberty Party's unanimous presidential nominee in 1840 and 1844. James G. Birney died in 1853.
11.25 Cubic Feet (9 record center boxes)
Language of Materials
The collection consists of the original anti-slavery pamphlets assembled by the American abolitionist, James G. Birney. The collection spans the years 1784-1909. It contains only the items duplicated by those that were processed as books with individual call numbers and items that were deemed too fragile. In the case of fragility, photocopies were made as use copies.
The original pamphlets which form this collection are filed in call number order to correspond to duplicate originals and photocopies of the pamphlets that have been photocopied, cataloged individually, and filed in Special Collections.
Other Finding Aids
An offline inventory is available. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
A published bibliography of the collection is also available: The Birney Anti-Slavery Collection of the Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, Md: M.S. Eisenhower Library, Special Collections Division, 1985. Print. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Copies and duplicates of all items in the Birney collection have been cataloged. To browse a list of available titles, please visit our library catalog and search for "Birney Anti-Slavery Collection": https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_field=all_fields&q=%22birney+anti-slavery+collection%22
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was given to the University by William Birney in 1890. Special Collections added additional accruals to the collection into the 1990s, which reflects why the date span of the collection extends beyond the date of the original donation.
Existence and Location of Copies
Digitized portions of the book collection are available here: https://archive.org/details/birney. THe contents of the manuscript collection were not digitized.
Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in November 1995. Re-described by Jordon Steele, December 2017.
- James G. Birney collection of anti-slavery pamphlets
- Jordon Steele
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA