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Rosicrucian Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Home

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 our Southampton Digital Library or 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 and items are fetched for use in the Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room.


The Search Room is open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 1 working day in advance. 

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.

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


Library Search includes records for all Rosicrucian Collection books and journals.It enables you to search the Library's printed books, journals and electronic resources at the same time. Access to e-resources is limited to staff and students of the University.

Basic Search

Enter keywords / author surname / significant title words in the search box and then refine the Results List using the filters on the left e.g. by book / date  / subject. You can re-sort the Results List to your preferred order using the drop-down menu at the top of the list. 

To limit a search to the Rosicrucian Collection, enter your search terms followed by B8: Rosicrucian

Library Search groups print copies, e-books and different editions of the same work under one record in the Results List. To see the separate records, select the 'Show all' filter.

Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search, you can undertake a more targeted search by selecting search indexes from drop-down lists and by presetting filters for format and date.

To limit a search to the Rosicrucian Collection, include 'B8: Rosicrucian' as a keyword search.

See Rosicrucian Collection for a complete list of titles. Selected pamphlets are also available online on Southampton Digital Library.


For general enquiries about the Rosicrucian Collection contact: Jenny Ruthven email: or tel. 023 80593335

Search Room Bookings: email: or tel. 023 80592721

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

Reprographics Service

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

See Reprographics Service for a list of the types of copy available and charges.

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

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