Dr. Alexander Lawrence Ames is the author of The Word in the Wilderness: Popular Piety and the Manuscript Arts in Early Pennsylvania and the host of Cloister Talk: The Pennsylvania German Material Texts Podcast. Dr. 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 Associate Curator of the Rosenbach Museum & Library, an historic house museum and repository of rare books and manuscripts affiliated with the Free Library of Philadelphia.
Dr. Ames's scholarly 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. His new book project, an intellectual history of the early modern French Atlantic world as encountered in surviving Enlightenment libraries, is under contract with De Gruyter of Berlin.
Ames has curated and co-curated 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), Voyages by Road and Sea: Philadelphia Perspectives on Walt Whitman and Herman Melville (Free Library of Philadelphia, 2019-2020), The Rights of Woman: Gender in Robert Burns's Enlightenment (the Rosenbach, 2020), and 18 Reasons to Read Ulysses (the Rosenbach, 2022).
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