Old timey religious tracts

Beastevan Curseboo
Over at Collectors Weekly, Jim Linderman gives us an inspirational taste of his amazing collection of old timey religious tracts. You may recall my previous post about Jim's terrific book and CD package "Take Me To The Water: Immersion Baptism in Vintage Music and Photography 1890-1950." His new book, Old-Time-Religion, presents his collection of religious ephemera. It's also the name of Jim's blog where he showcases the tracts like the two seen above. While some of the fearmongering and artwork is a delight, "most of these now dated screeds are racist, homophobic, and offensive to any religion not one’s own," Jim says.

"Hellfire and Damnation in Your Back Pocket" (Collectors Weekly)

"Old Time Religion by Jim Linderman" (blog)



  1. I walk a lot and Christian tracts appear quite bit on bus benches. Tracts these days tend to lack illustrations and rather focus on lengthy excerpts from the Bible. I’ve also noticed that our local donut shops have little displays (FREE TAKE ONE!) of tracts. The Jack Chick tracts are of course the most well-known, but Jim Linderman’s collection is stellar.

  2. these now dated screeds are racist, homophobic, and offensive to any religion not one’s own

    I’m not sure what’s so dated about this. How does this description differ from your average Chick tract?

  3. While majoring in religion in college, I enjoyed collecting old Christian end-time or apocalypse stories. There’s one I have from the 40’s where the army of the Antichrist chases down the believers driving some kind of futuristic snowmobile.

    I love vintage Sci-Fi, and I think these old apocalypse stories are kind of the same ilk: people extrapolating into the future based on the present, then letting their imaginations run wild.

  4. I remember being both impressed and horrified at these when I got them on the streets in NYC. There were several specialty printers who produced them. The quality of religious handouts has decreased significantly since the 60s.

    1. D.D. stands for “Doctor of Divinity” and D. Litt. stands for “Doctor of Letters”.

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