Skip to main content

Two 18th Century Almanacs Donated to Bridgewater College

September 19, 2017

Photo of Two Rare American Almanacs

Two rare American almanacs dating to 1753 and 1794 have been donated to Bridgewater College Special Collections by two alumnae.

The almanacs were donated by 1967 graduate Donna Spitler Fields of Arlington, Va., and Joyce Spitler Nicholson '58 of Santa Cruz, Ca. The volumes were passed down in the Spitler family of Page County, Va.

Both almanacs were printed in Pennsylvania for a German-American audience by the Saur/Sauer/Sower family. The 1753 almanac was printed in Germantown by Christopher Saur and the 1794 book was printed in Chestnut Hill by Samuel Saur, Christopher's grandson. The volumes are German-language materials typeset in fraktur typeface. Their titles are Der Hoch-deutsch Americanische Calender and Der Neue Hoch Deutsche Americanische Calender.

"Like today’s almanacs, these materials feature calendars with phases of the moon, articles, advertisements and a diagram of the zodiac chart, the Man of the Signs," said Stephanie Gardner, special collections librarian who, along with Andrew Pearson, director of the Alexander Mack Memorial Library at Bridgewater, received the volumes.

Gardner said the almanacs join a notable collection of Saur press imprints in Bridgewater College Special Collections and the Reuel B. Pritchett Museum Collection. She said special collections is exploring options for paper conservation and digitization of the almanacs.

Bridgewater College Special Collections are available by appointment. Contact Gardner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828-8018 to schedule a research visit.

Questions? Contact us!

Jessica Luck
Editor & Director of Media Relations
Office: 540-828-5720
Mobile: 573-529-3862 jluck@bridgewater.edu

Mary Kay Heatwole
Media Relations Assistant
Office: 540-828-5486
mheatwol@bridgewater.edu

Abbie Parkhurst
Associate Vice President for Marketing & Communications/College Spokeswoman
Office: 540-828-5782
Mobile: 540-294-1441
aparkhur@bridgewater.edu