Mark Edwin Peterson

Mark Edwin Peterson

Mark Edwin Peterson

Medievalism, Academia as Culture, The Significance of Library Collections. In the past I have written on medieval brewing technology, German-American printing, St. Bridget of Sweden, the book trade, library disaster response, paratext, violence, pulp magazines, History of Medicine, Tahiti, presidential libraries and marketing as pop. culture. I think I am narrowing it down.

I was raised in Minnesota and attended college in Oregon. After finishing a PhD in History at the University of Wisconsin, I returned to Oregon to spend several years teaching as an adjunct. I then decided to become a librarian and attended the University of North Carolina. I worked as rare book librarian for two years at the Medical School for Washington University in St. Louis and three years at James Madison University. And now I work as the librarian at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum. Much of this can be found at

Along the way I have studied twice in Germany, worked once in Hungary, and taught on Semester at Sea on a trip around the world. I probably travel more than anything else, and when I am not doing that I am traveling to conferences to present crazy papers.

Current Research

I am currently working on a book on the various forms of medievalism in American universities in the 20th century. This should include a discussion of the Middle Ages in the historiography of the period and how that affected library policies.

Selected Publications

     “Reading as Spiritual Journey: St. Bridget of Sweden.” Soul Travel: Spiritual Journeys in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Ed. Jennifer Hillman & Elizabeth Tingle. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2019. Chap. 1.

     “Footnotes and Dictators.” Lincoln Humanities Journal 5 (2017).

     “Two Brass Mites of the Widow: Saint Bridget of Sweden and the Terrors of Hell.” The Hermeneutics of Hell: Visions and Representations of the Devil in World Literature. Ed. Gregor Thuswaldner & Daniel Russ. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017. Chap. 2.

     “German Readers and the Formation of the Henkel Press in Virginia.” Yearbook of German- American Studies 51 (2016): 135-146. Winner of the Commendation Award from the Concordia Historical Institute.

     “Pulp in the Ivory Tower: One University Library’s Development of a Pulp Magazine Collection from Scratch.” With Brian Flota and Julia Merkel. College & Research Libraries News 77, no. 8 (2016): 374-77.

     “Drinking in the Streets: The Street as a Public Space for the Sale and Consumption of Alcohol.” Die Strasse: zur Funktion und Perzeption öffentlichen Raums im späten Mittelalter. Ed. Gerhard Jaritz. Vienna. Austrian Academy of Science, 2001. 197-204.

     “Hanseatic League.” ORB: Online Encyclopedia. 1998.

Grants and Fellowships

Open Society Institute Fellow, 1999-2000

DAAD sponsored fellowship for the European Summer University in Digital Humanities, 2018

Courses Taught

Western Civilization I & II, World Civilization I & II, German Witchcraze, Modern Europe, The Ancient Technology of Food, British Empire, Early European Archaeology


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

     2008 Master of Library Science

     Thesis: “Improving Recovery for Libraries that Have Been Hit by Disaster.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison

     2000 PhD in History

     Thesis: “Innovation, Investment, and the Development of Commercial Beer Brewing within the Wendish Towns of Late Medieval Germany.”

Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon

     1992 BA in History

Recent Presentations

    "Four Presidents: Libraries & Power." September 2019. Association of Library & Information Science Education Annual Conference. Knoxville, TN.

    “Understanding the US Presidential Archives Online.” October 2018. Teaching and Learning with Technology. James Madison University.

     “Reading as Spiritual Journey - St. Bridget of Sweden.” September 2017. Soul Travel: Spiritual Journeys and Sacred Voyages in Early Modern Europe. De Montfort University, Leicester, England.

     “Brewers’ Beast: Traditional Symbols for Marketing US Beer.” April 2017. PCA/ACA Annual Pop Culture Conference. San Diego.

     “Experience the World Without Buying the World: Teaching the History of Island Exploration Literature on a Budget.” April 2017. Islands: College English Association 48th Annual Conference. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

     “The Lutheran Press of the Shenandoah Valley.” January 2017. Shenandoah Valley Regional Seminar. James Madison University.

     “Selling Visions: The Revelationes of St. Bridget of Sweden, 1303-1373.” April 2016. On Nearness, Order & Things: Collecting and Material Cultures from 1400 to Today. Northrup Frye Centre. Toronto.

     “Reading Old Books: The 17th Century Life of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373).” March 2016. New College Biennial Conference on Medieval & Renaissance Studies. Sarasota, Florida.

     “Post-Racial Paratext in the Works of Junot Diaz and Salvador Plascencia.” July 2015. Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association International Conference. Reykjavik, Iceland.

     "Germans in the Shenandoah Valley and the Henkel Press of Virginia.” March 2015. Fraktur and the Everyday Lives of Germans in the Atlantic World, 1683-1850. Philadelphia.

     "Reading Bridget's Visions in the Vernacular during the Sixteenth Century.” February 2015. Renaissance Print Culture: An Aldine Quincentennial Symposium at the Newberry Library. Chicago.

     “Turning Visions into Revelationes: The Book of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373).” April 2014. Medieval & Renaissance Forum at UNH-Plymouth.

     “Pulp in the Ivory Tower. One University Library’s Development of a Pulp Magazine Collection.” April 2014. PCA/ACA Pop Culture Conference. Chicago. With Brian Flota.

     “Deadly Storytime: A History of Violence in Children’s Literature, 1830-1950.” April 2014. Violence: Empowerment or Self-Destruction Conference JMU.

     "Recording the Visions of St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)." February 2014. Mid-Atlantic Renaissance and Reformation Seminar. Christopher Newport University.

     “The Bible for Hamburgers: Urban Book Production in Northern Germany, 1255-1523.” September 2011. Medieval-Renaissance Conference. UVa-Wise.

In the Media

     “Pandemic 1918.” America’s Hidden Stories. Lone Wolf Media for Smithsonian Networks, 2019.

     “History and Romance: Love Stories of Five Virginia Presidents.” The Free Lance-Star (February 8, 2017).

     “Every Breeze Issue Digitized in Scholarly Commons Archive.” The Breeze (September 18, 2014).

     “De Humani Corporis Fabrica: On the Fabric of the Human Body.” Outlook: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine (April 2011).