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Alexander Ames

Student Photo


St. Cloud State University, B.S., Information Media, 2007; St. Cloud State University, M.A., Public History, 2012; University of Delaware/Winterthur Program, M.A., American Material Culture, 2014.


Dr. James Brophy

Research Interests

Atlantic-World religious and intellectual history, with a special focus on transatlantic German-Protestant religious movements; history of the book/material texts; decorative arts, material culture, and public history; material culture pedagogy


The Letter and the Spirit: Calligraphy, Manuscripts, and Popular Piety in German Pennsylvania, 1683 - 1855


Alex Ames’s dissertation research examines the calligraphy and manuscript illumination traditions of early German-speaking settlers of southeastern Pennsylvania. He is particularly interested in the persistence of manuscript copying on both sides of the Atlantic during the years between the development of movable type and the mid-nineteenth century. His professional interests center on museum and library work. He has interned at the Codrington Library, All Souls College, Oxford; the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, the Rosenbach Museum & Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Manuscripts & Archives Department of the Hagley Library, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the Winterthur Library, and Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea in Connecticut. His research has been published in Winterthur Portfolio, Fine Books & Collections, and The Bookplate Journal. In fall, 2016, he curated two exhibitions, one titled “The Art of Ownership: Bookplates and Book Collectors, ca. 1480 – the Present” at the Rosenbach in Philadelphia, and one (co-curated with Mark Samuels Lasner) titled “Grolier Club Bookplates, Past and Present” at the Grolier Club in New York City.  He’s given talks on book-historical topics at the University of Münster, the Grolier Club, the Philobiblon Club, the German Society of Pennsylvania, and other institutions.

Department of History • 236 John Munroe Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-2371 • Fax: 302-831-1538

Map background Ratzer, Bernard "Province of New Jersey" (map) courtesy Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark Delaware.