Virtual - Author Presentation - Alexander Ames

Thursday, September 107:00—8:00 PMZoomIndian Valley Public Library100 E. Church Ave, Telford, PA, 18969

Join us as Alexander Ames discusses his new book The Word in the Wilderness: Popular Piety and the Manuscript Arts in Early Pennsylvania.

About the Book: Once a vibrant part of religious life for many Pennsylvania Germans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fraktur manuscripts today are primarily studied for their decorative qualities. The Word in the Wilderness takes a different view, probing these documents for what they tell us about the lived religious experiences of the Protestant communities that made and used them and opening avenues for reinterpretation of this well-known, if little understood, set of cultural artifacts.

Featuring dozens of illustrations, this lively, engaging book will appeal to fraktur scholars and enthusiasts, historians of early America, and anyone interested in the material culture and spiritual practices of the German-speaking residents of Pennsylvania.

About the Author - Alexander Lawrence Ames is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based historian, curator, and bibliophile.  He holds an M.A. in American Material Culture and a Ph.D. in History of American Civilization and Museum Studies from the University of Delaware and works as Collections Engagement Manager at The Rosenbach.  His research interests focus on book history, material culture, and religious and intellectual life in early America.  His research has been published in scholarly journals including Winterthur Portfolio, The Mennonite Quarterly Review, and Libraries: Culture, History, and Society‚Äč.  He has curated several exhibitions of rare books and manuscripts, including Grolier Club Bookplates, Past and Present (The Grolier Club, 2016-2017), American Voyager: Herman Melville at 200 (The Rosenbach, 2019-2020), and Voyages by Road and Sea: Philadelphia Perspectives on Walt Whitman and Herman Melville (Free Library of Philadelphia, 2019-2020).    

This is a virtual program via Zoom. Any questions, please contact DeAnne O'Brien at

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