Rosicrucian Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Home

Enquiries

For general enquiries about the Rosicrucian Collection contact:

Jenny Ruthven

email: j.c.ruthven@soton.ac.uk or tel. 023 80593335

Search Room Bookings:

email: archives@soton.ac.uk or tel. 023 80592721

Address:

Special Collections, Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Special Collections Home Page

Printed Special Collections

A-Z List of Collections

Related E-Book Collections

  • Internet Archive (use 'Rosicrucian Southampton' to find digitised plays and pamphlets from the Collection)

Francis Bacon Remaines of the Right Honorable Francis, Lord Verulum (1948)

title page

Rare Books Rosicrucian PR 2206

Rosicrucian Collection

The collection is one of only a few sources for the publications of the Rosicrucian Order's Crotona Fellowship. Pamphlets such as Rosicrucian Philosophy: Pointers for Students and Secrets of the Rosicrucians were published by the Crotona Press, as were plays by its founder, George Sullivan, writing as Alex Mathews e.g. Twilight on the Threshold: a Mystic Play. Digitised versions of many of these publications can be found on Internet Archive

The books on mythology, hermeticism, freemasonry, mesmerism and alchemy give an indication of the range of interests of the Fellowship and there are also books by and about those associated with earlier Rosicrucian groups such as Francis Bacon and Robert Fludd.

Extent: 140 books ranging in date from the 16th century to the 20th century.

Location and Access

The Rosicrucian Collection is part of Special Collections on level 4 of the Hartley Library. It is open to all to use.

Material is fetched for use in the Archives Search Room which is open Monday to Friday 09.30-17.00. Appointments are not required, but it can save you time if you order items in advance.

Contact archives@soton.ac.uk or phone: 023 80592721 to order material.

If you do not have a University I.D. Card, you will need to show photographic I.D. on entering the Hartley Library and on entering the Search Room, a form of I.D. which includes your permanent residential address.

Catalogues / Library Resources Search

  • WebCat includes records for all Rosicrucian Collection books. 
  • DelphiS enables you to search across WebCat and the Library's electronic databases and is especially useful for subject searches. You will need a University login to access full-text resources.

See Rosicrucian Collection for a complete list of titles.

Collection History

The Rosicrucian Order Crotona Fellowship was established in Liverpool in 1924 by George Alexander Sullivan (1890-1942). In 1935 the Fellowship moved to Dorset and built the Ashrama Hall and the Christchurch Garden Theatre at Somerford in Christchurch. Members studied occult sciences and esoteric subjects under the leadership of Sullivan and performed in his mystical plays.

Two members of the Fellowship who later became well-known were Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), described as the father of modern Wicca and who claimed to have been initiated into a New Forest coven by another member of the group, and Peter Caddy (1917-1994), a co-founder of the Findhorn Community.

The Fellowship survived for only a few years after the death of George Sullivan in 1942 and its Library was eventually deposited at the University Library in 1977.

Frater of the Rosy Cross Secrets of the Rosicrucians (c.1930)

 Cover of Rosicrucian pamphlet

Rare Books Rosicrucian BF 1623.R7

Reprographic Services

Bound volumes cannot be photocopied but you can request photographic or microfilm copies, subject to the age and condition of the item.

See Reprographic Services for a list of the types of copy available and charges.

More information

There are references to the Crotona Fellowship in the following books:

  • Philip Heselton Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration (2003) Cope 97.29
  • Philip Heselton Wiccan Roots (2000) Cope 97.29
  • Steven Sutcliffe Children of the New Age (2003) BP 605.N48 SUT

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