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Rare Books Collection: Mathew Carey Publications

Mount Saint Mary's University rare books catalog

Description of Mathew Carey

        This page contains the works published (or in some cases written) by Mathew Carey, an early Catholic American printer who lived in Philadelphia during the late 18th and early 19th century. Born in Ireland, Carey began his career as a printer publishing journals and newspapers which attacked the English government’s policies and treatment of Irish Catholics. The publications forced Carey to flee into exile first in 1779 to France and then to America in 1784.[1] Once in America, Carey began publishing and printing in the city of Philadelphia. The first English Catholic Bible in the United States was one of his first and most famous projects.[2] A copy of the 1790 and 1805 print, the Donway Bible, is a part of the Phillips Library Rare Book Collection. Carey continued printing and writing until his death in 1839.

          The purpose of this page is to collect the annotated bibliographies of works published by Carey into one location. Researchers interested in Carey and his published works can contact the Evening Supervisor to arrange a time to examine the books more closely.


     [1] Margeret Abruzzo, “Apologetics of Harmony: Mathew Carey and the Rhetoric of Religious Liberty,” in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 134, No.1 (The Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Philedephia, 2010) 9.  

     [2] Ibid. 17. 

Mathew Carey Bibles

Publications Published by Carey and family

Heber, Reginald. Narrative of a journey through the upper provinces of India : from Calcutta to Bombay. Two copies, Vol. 2. Carey, Lea and          Carey: Philadelphia.1828 and 1829.


Origins: Both these copies were from the Mount Saint Mary’s College Library Collection before being placed in the Rare Books Collection.


Material: Reginald Heber, the Bishop of Calcutta, wrote this account of his journey through the northern section of India. Heber recorded the various temples and religious ceremonies he observed, the people and animals that he met, as well as his own reflection on this section of the country.Heber’s account gives historians a first-hand account of India during the early 19th century with special attention given to the religious setting and practices of Hindu and Indian Islam.  Heber’s own attitudes regarding India appear at different points in the narrative, which provides interesting information regarding British attitudes to Indian practices and culture at the time he traveled.


Weaknesses: Both copies that are in the Rare Book Collection are Volume 2 of two volumes. Reading a copy of Volume 1 is necessary to truly understand Heber. Anyone reading for the description of Indian culture should remember that Heber has the biases of a early 19th century British cleric and views Indian culture through lens.

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