Bluffton University archivist to explore the evolution of the “Martyrs Mirror”

Carrie Phillips, archives and special collections librarian, will present “Linen, Leather, Linseed Oil and Lampblack: A recipe for the 1748 Ephrata ‘Martyrs Mirror,’” during a 4 p.m. colloquium presentation on April 6 in Centennial Hall’s Stutzman Lecture Hall.

During the presentation, Phillips will report on research conducted over the past year on the edition of the “Martyrs Mirror” printed in 1748 at the Ephrata Cloister in eastern Pennsylvania.  Phillips will share how the evolution of this book is a story full of suspense, intrigue, technology, art, drama, irony and war. 

“As the ancestors of present-day Mennonites and related groups ventured across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World, and the desire for national independence spread among the colonists, spiritual leaders sought to reintroduce to their followers the stories of the “Martyrs Mirror”- of the hardships endured by their European ancestors,” Phillips explained. “After an impassioned plea to church leaders in their Dutch homeland for a German translation was unanswered, newly settled Pennsylvania Mennonites sought local aid for the project.”  

Phillips will describe how human toil and sacrifice, along with the ingredients in the talk’s title, came together to create this historic work, the largest printing effort in pre-revolutionary America.

Bluffton University owns seven copies of the 1748 Ephrata “Martyrs Mirror,” and several copies will be on display for examination following the presentation.

This event is free and open to the public.


Carrie Phillips