Toppan Rare Books Library and Reformation Influences

The University of Wyoming Department of Religious Studies is hosting a mini-conference,“The Protestant Reformations: 500 Years and Counting,” on October 15 & 16, 2017.  The event commemorates the 500-year anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformations. Event programming is being held at three UW locations: the  Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts, the Berry Center, and the American Heritage Center.

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his “95 Theses” to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral in Germany. Six years later, the Catholic Church excommunicated Luther and, by 1526, he began organizing a new church. This was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation then spread widely throughout Europe.

As part of the activities, a display will be available on October 16 from 11:30-12:30 in the AHC’s Toppan Rare Books Library.  Rare Books Curator Anne Marie Lane will be on hand to offer explanations about the books, which will illustrate Reformation influences from the 16th to 19th centuries.

While Lutheran books will be the focus (including German-American Bibles; example seen below), England will also be represented, as well as a few Spanish, Italian, and French Catholic books from the 16th century to put the Protestant movement into context.

German american bible_1

Frontispiece and title page of German-American Lutheran “picture Bible,” published in Philadelphia, 1869. Toppan Rare Books Library, UW American Heritage Center.

German american bible_2

Illustration from German-American Lutheran “picture Bible,” published in Philadelphia, 1869. Toppan Rare Books Library, UW American Heritage Center.

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