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The Marvin & Sybil Weiner Spirit of America Collection at Florida Atlantic University offers a wide variety of primary source materials suitable for research in the disciplines of history, political science, philosophy, and linguistics. With more than 13,000 items, the collection consists of printed and manuscript materials dating from the fifteenth century to the modern era. Materials include rare books, pamphlets, historical newspapers and journals, broadsides and cartoons, and documents.

Collection materials are available to students, faculty and other researchers by appointment. In addition, faculty members may make arrangements with our professional staff for assistance on instructional projects. Past events have included exhibitions, lecture series, graduate student research workshops, and presentations.

Subject Guides
For convenience, the collection has been thematically divided below. These themes are not meant to be inclusive, but instead are designed to offer some suggestion of the broad topics of interest. For a full listing of the collection, please go to Search.

 

American Colonialism and Revolution
This extensive collection of primary sources covers the contemporary debates about the role of government and the rights of the people in colonial America. Specific topics include the Stamp Act and taxation, colonial trade, and religion’s role in political thought. Through pamphlets and other publications, the ideas of Thomas Paine, Edmund Burke and other political writers are revealed. Both British and American viewpoints are demonstrated in Parliamentary speeches, selected journals of New England colonies, and extracts from the proceedings of the Continental Congress.

Colonialism List

 
       
 

United States Government and Constitution
Within the collection of materials relating to the role of government and the evolution of the United States Constitution are selected Congressional records and speeches along with newspapers, sermons and political cartoons. From the Federalist Papers of the early 18th century through the Civil War period to the civil rights and labor issues of the 20th century, these items allow for interpretations of such issues as territorial expansion, states’ rights, political parties, elections and civil liberties.

American Government List

 
       
 

British History and Government
The collection offers an assortment of Parliamentary speeches, royal declarations, pamphlets and other printed materials spanning three centuries. Many of the items deal with the Long Parliament and include numerous references to John Pym. Also from this period are works relating to the English Civil War and the Titus Oates, or “Popish” plot against Charles II. From the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there are pamphlets relating to Wilkesite Movement, the political writings of Junius and William Pitt, as well as items that discuss British colonial policies towards Ireland, Scotland and America.

British Government List

 
       
 

French History & Political Thought
The collection consists of 16th and 17th century French and English language items that depict the Age of Reformation and monarchial struggles for power. Authors of this political and religious philosophy include Jean Bodin, Innocent Gentillet and Jean Chrysostome.  Later works by Pascal, Montaigne, Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau, along with journals and newsletters extend the exploration of French political ideas through the 18th century. Also included are French responses to the American and the French Revolutions.

French History List

 
       
 

Philosophy and Political Theory
In addition to the French language works listed above, the Spirit of America Collection holds first and early editions of the works of philosophers and political theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, Thomas More, John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Francis Bacon, and David Hume.  Topics covered include ancient and modern philosophy, civil rights and liberties, government structure, ethics and utopian thought.

Philosophy List

 
       

 

   

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