Heritage Center Publications

The Annual Publication Series showcases premier research in Pennsylvania German folklife and culture. All titles are available by mail order. We are currently unable to process online sales, but many of our titles are available at www.Masthof.com. Heritage Members receive an additional $5 off the cover price of books from the Annual Publication Series. Become a member today by visiting the Membership menu on the left-hand side of your screen.

Volume VIII
Painter of the Stars: The Life and Work of Milton J. Hill (1887-1972)
Front Cover: "Painter of the Stars: The Life and Work of Milton J. Hill (1887-1972) by Lee S. Heffner & Patrick Donmoyer." Is an image of a man in overalls sitting with hands clasped. He has a brimed hat and is smiling.

2020. 144pp. color illus. index. Hardcover ISBN: 978-09987074-5-7

By Lee S. Heffner & Patrick J. Donmoyer

Explore the colorful work of barn star artist Milton J. Hill of Virginville, Berks County, who profoundly contributed to the evolution of this classic Pennsylvania Dutch folk art tradition. The decorated barns of southeastern Pennsylvania have captured the American imagination ever since their “discovery” in the early twentieth century - sparking generations of debate over the real meaning of these celestial, geometric depictions of the stars.

Follow Milton’s journey from the family farm to the national spotlight as a celebrated American folk artist, who introduced this colorful living tradition of barn star painting to the world through his important contributions to the Kutztown Folk Festival, the nation’s first and longest-running celebration of American folklife.

Lavishly illustrated with historical and contemporary views of decorated barns, family ephemera, and early photographs, Painter of the Stars is sure to captivate readers who are eager to discover the rich artistic expression of the Pennsylvania Dutch through the life and work of a profoundly influential barn star painter and folk artist, Milton J. Hill.

Hardcover - $35.00

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Volume VII
Doh wil ich awer!: The Radio Adventures of Asseba and Sabina
Front Cover of Book: Is an illustration of a male and female presenting character around a table. Above the drawing is the title: "Doh wil ich awer!: The Radio Adventures of Asseba and Sabina"

2019. 216pp. color illustrations Softcover ISBN: 9780998707440

Translated by Gregory J. Hanson, Illustrated by Rachel Yoder

Many older people in the Pennsylvania Dutch region remember stopping whatever they were doing on Sunday afternoons in the 1940s and 50s to turn on their radio and listen for the latest adventures of Asseba and Sabina, a Pennsylvania Dutch farm couple. Asseba tends to play practical jokes on his wife, who is a hard worker with high expectations. This book contains scripts of the show in both PA Dutch and English, along with some fun illustrations and background information on how all of it got started. As you read these scripts, enjoy them for their humor and philosophy in everyday life and appreciate the culture of the Pennsylvania Germans.

Softcover - $35.00

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Volume VI
Powwowing in Pennsylvania: Braucherei & the Ritual of Everyday Life
Front Cover: Two hands are holding a red string between the pointer finger and thumb. above is an etching of a bird in a cloud. The title is above that, and reads, "Powwowing in Pennsylvania: Braucherei & the Ritual of Everyday Life"

2018. 244pp. color illus. index. Hardcover ISBN: 9780998707488 Softcover ISBN: 9780998707433

By Patrick J. Donmoyer

This lavishly illustrated work introduces Pennsylvania’s tradition of ritual healing, known as powwow (or Braucherei in Pennsylvania Dutch), combining a diverse array of prayers, gestures, and the use of everyday objects, these rituals are used for healing the body, protection from physical and spiritual harm, and ensuring good outcomes in everyday affairs.

Although methods and procedures have varied considerably over three centuries of ritual practice within the Pennsylvania Dutch community, the outcomes and experiences surrounding this tradition have woven a rich tapestry of cultural narratives that highlight the integration of ritual into all aspects of life, as well as provide insight into the challenges, conflicts, growth, and development of a distinct Pennsylvania Dutch folk culture.

Hardcover - $45.00

Softcover - $35.00

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Volume V
The German Bible in America
The Front Cover: It is an intricate bible cover of brown and gold designs. The tile is in the center.

2016. 199pp. color illus. index. Softcover ISBN: 978-1-60126-501-2 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-60126-500-5

By Don Yoder. Edited, with Supplements by Patrick J. Donmoyer

From the earliest origins of printing with movable type in the Rhineland and the subsequent translation of the Luther Bible, to the mass exodus of German-speaking emigrants to the New World, The German Bible in America traces the vital role that the German scriptures played in the expansion and development of the western world. With special emphasis on each phase of German Bible printing in the United States, from the colonial era to the present day, as well as the European precedents, Dr. Yoder’s work demonstrates why Pennsylvania led the North American continent in the printing of Bibles in the 18th century. Copious images of original Bible illustrations, inscriptions, bookplates, and bindings provide a rare glimpse of the most cherished possession among the Pennsylvania Dutch—the family Bible.

Softcover - $25.00

Hardcover - $35.00

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Volume IV
Discovering American Folklife:
Essays on Folk Culture & the Pennsylvania Dutch
Front Cover: A background of red barn wood, with a white, black, yellow, and red barnstar, with the title of the book above.

2015. 359pp. color illus. index. Softcover ISBN: 9781601264565

By Don Yoder

This third and expanded 25th Anniversary Edition is a classic sampling of Don Yoder’s massive body of work in folklife studies. The essays cover folk religion, folk medicine, sectarian costume, traditional cookery, and the folklife of the Pennsylvania Dutch, specifically Harvest Home, witch tales, Fraktur, and sauerkraut for New Year’s.

Softcover - $25.00

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Volume III
Folk Art Memories: The Folklife Illustrations of Gladys M. Lutz
Front Cover: A primatively drawn farmscape with people planting in a field. The title of the book is in the top left-hand corner.

2014. 200pp. full-color illus. Softcover ISBN: 9781601264275

By Gladys M. Lutz

Journey into the heart of the Pennsylvania Dutch country through the acclaimed folk art of Gladys M. Lutz of Lehigh Co., Pa. Often called the "Grandma Moses of the Lehigh Valley," Gladys painted hundreds of full-color images of farm life and the rural landscape of her childhood, capturing even the most mundane daily activities which provide a glimpse into the life of a typical PA Dutch farm family of the past. This beautiful collection of her work is bound to interest the artist and historian in all of us.

Softcover - $35.00

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Volume II
Hex Signs: Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars
Front Cover: Black background with 6 Hex Signs (or barn stars) with the center image of a Hex Sign with a person's silhouette in the left-hand side.

2013. 124pp. color illus. index. Softcover ISBN: 9781601263841

By Patrick J. Donmoyer

With special emphasis on Berks and Lehigh Counties, PA, this groundbreaking work is an unparalleled presentation of the area's most publically-acclaimed regional folk art, known as Hex Signs or Barn Stars. This valuable collection offers the rare opportunity to examine in-depth the history, mythology, and cultural significance of these captivating local icons. Over 200 beautiful color photographs are included.

Softcover - $30.00

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Volume I
Der Freund in der Noth, Or, the Friend in Need: An Annotated Translation of an Early Pennsylvania Folk-Healing Manual
Book CoveR: Red Background with black etching of clasped hands. The title is above the hands.

2012. 152pp. illus. index. ISBN: 9781601263360

Translated & Annotated by Patrick J. Donmoyer

Nearly 200 years ago, the legendary Berks County author Johann Georg Hohman published The Friend in Need in 1813, which is the precursor to America’s most popular work of powwow, folk healing, and magic, The Long Lost Friend, that was compiled in 1819. Because of controversy surrounding the powwow tradition, Hohman’s earlier works have not received serious scholarly consideration and have remained unknown until now. This obscure piece of Berks County history, The Friend in Need, is now available for the first time in the English language, allowing readers access to some of the rarest prayers, benedictions, and charms used in early America for healing and protection among the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Friend in Need provides the English translation side-by-side with the original German, and appendices containing previously unpublished original source material. With complete annotations, numerous illustrations and tables, this groundbreaking work is a wealth of information concerning the origins and history of the folk tradition of powwowing in Pennsylvania.

Out of Print