John A. Parke penmanship exercise book
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
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Overview and metadata sections
John Andrew Parke signed his name at the top of the first page of his exercise book and continued to sign his name throughout the volume. He dated two entries to January 1845 and one to 1846. Parke repeatedly copied out the words “Strasburg Academy,” suggesting he was a student. Strasburg Academy was founded in 1839 in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, and took in male boarding and day students from all over the country. Parke also wrote “West Fallowfield” on the last page of his book, the name of a town about 25 miles away from Strasburg in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Federal census records identify a John Andrew Parke born in 1827 living in West Fallowfield in 1850. The name “Mary Parke” also appears in this volume; the 1850 census places her in the same West Fallowfield household.
In this book, Parke practices a style of handwriting known as German Text. German Text was developed in the early eighteenth century by British writing masters and is a stylized version of the German blackletter style known asFraktur.
Henning, William E. and Paul Melzer. An Elegant Hand: The Golden Age of Penmanship and Calligraphy. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2002.Strasburg History website, “Strasburg—A Town of Trains and Heritage” (accessed October 17, 2016) http://www.amishnews.com/towns/strasburghistory.htm 1850 Federal Census (accessed via Ancestry.com October 17, 2016)Information derived from the collection.
John A. (John Andrew) Parke, likely a student in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, kept this penmanship exercise book between 1845 and 1846. Parke used the book to practice his handwriting in German Text.
Parke’s exercises emphasized repetition. He repeatedly copied out the alphabet, words (such as “Emancipate,” “Insinuation,” and “Latitude”), phrases, and his own name. In addition to these more formal exercises, Parke occasionally added detailed ornamentation to a single word.
This volume consists of fourteen leaves bound in brown wrappers. There are traces of blue ink on the front cover, but the only legible word is “smile.” The exercises are handwritten in both blue and black ink.
Item 0186: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097
Gift of Burton A. Abrams, April 2016.
Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, January 2017.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 January 11
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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