Tuesday, 26 August 2014


I'm back. After a long hiatus, I am ready to blog a bit during the 2014-2015 academic year. A lot has happened since my last post.

In the first part of my break, I enjoyed a summer fellowship at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts during the month of June. At the AAS, I worked on my current book-length project, "Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture" (more on that project in future posts). I lived in the scholars' residence next door to the library where I was able to learn a lot about book history from the other fellows who resided in the house and worked at the library during the same time. One of the fellows, for instance, convinced me of the importance of watermarks, and so I spent a good portion of my daily routine at the library looking for watermarks and then trying to trace these to specific papermakers in America and Europe. I was amazed at what I found. One of the watermarks that sticks out in my memory is of a unicorn, which I traced to a papermaker in Pennsylvania.

I wholeheartedly endorse the AAS as one of the best archives in the country. Not only are the staff members experts in the history of the book, but they are some of the nicest and most helpful people I have ever worked with. As I studied various editions of Jonathan Edwards's publication in the eighteenth century, I could pause periodically to ask a staff member about particular aspects of his works, including the type used, the quality of paper, and the bindings. I left Worcester feeling excited about my project and hungry to continue my research.

While I stayed in Worcester, I also made a trip to Harvard Divinity School where I met with the eminent historian David Hall, who was gracious enough to read one of my chapters on Edwards's Boston printer and publisher. I was very thankful for his suggestions and endorsement of my work. Besides touring the Boston area, I also made a trips to Albany, NY to look at Jonathan Edwards Jr's will, New Haven to research at the Beinecke Library and visit with Ken Minkema, and Stockbridge, MA, where I saw the Mission House and the site of Edwards's home. Overall, I had a wonderful time in Massachusetts during the month of June.

During the month of July, I traveled with my family to West Michigan for a family reunion. We had a week in between our next trip to Carolina Beach, North Carolina where we spent enjoyed the beach and time with  friends. Each year, this is my opportunity to go surfing, which ranks next to snow skiing as my favorite sport. I had the pleasure of witnessing my oldest son learn how to surf for the first time. By the end of the week, he could ride the waves like a pro.

I have some exciting news about my project on Jonathan Edwards and transatlantic print culture that I will share in the future, and I also will be providing some posts on the upcoming LeRoy Martin Lectures for the 2014-2015 academic year, which include Lin Fisher, Kate Bowler, and Jeremy Begbie. So, stay tuned.

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