Document Type

Student Research Paper


Summer 2021

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Professor Jean-Paul Benowitz


This project involves the creation of a script for docents to guide visitors through the Bowers Interpretive Gallery in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies and filming a guided tour of the Bowers Interpretive Gallery to facilitate remote access to the exhibits. The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies’ Bowers Interpretive Gallery (possible by a major gift by Kenneth L. Bowers’59 H’99 and Rosalie E. Bowers’58) combines visual and sound exhibits of historical artifacts, images, and material culture presenting a broad overview of Anabaptist and Pietist groups’ history, beliefs/values, and their global impact. The message of the exhibit emphasizes themes of peace and service; central characteristics of The Historic Peace Churches. The exhibit content focus is primarily on the Amish and Church of the Brethren. A series of panels portrays aspects of Amish life and statistics related to Amish population growth. The rare book exhibit includes versions of the Bible and Anabaptist devotional literature. The music section allows visitors to hear examples of music from six different Anabaptist and Pietist groups. An exhibit of objects related to the Church of the Brethren’s Love Feast illustrates the meaning of this communion ritual and adaptations by other groups. Items of plain clothing demonstrate how distinctive dress contributes to identity among plain sects. This is particularly related to the founding of Elizabethtown College, established in 1899, in response to the 1895 Pennsylvania Garb Law: PL. 395-S.L. Sec. 4801.

This project relates directly to the Mellon Grant: “Confronting Challenges with Confidence: Humanities for Our World Today.” Given the fact, the college is located in a county of historic communities drawing millions of visitors who contributed $2.91 billion in tourism in 2018, an important component of the grant is called “Regional Heritage Studies.” This narrative, a script to be used by docents giving tours of the Interpretive Gallery, will enhance tourists’ experience visiting the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. The film, available online, will encourage tourists to visit the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies. For seven decades, the local tourism industry has been a major contributor to the economy of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The number of tourism industry direct jobs makes tourism Lancaster County’s sixth largest private sector, non-farm category in the local economy. In 2018, some 8.85 million visitors came to Lancaster County, up 2.5% from the previous year. The tourism industry highlights rural communities of the Historic Peace Churches: Amish, Mennonites, Brethren, and Quakers. Chief among these religious sects driving the local tourism industry are the Amish. Lancaster County’s Amish population reached 33,143 in 2018, up 3.2% from the previous year.

Eric Schubert, a Momentum student and History and Political Science major who is also pursuing a Certificate In Public Heritage Studies, and who has worked as a student assistant in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies, has engaged in research involving primary sources, secondary sources, archival and historical library research, oral history, and museum exhibit design; to create the script for docents and the film for visiting the Interpretive Gallery in the remote. Schubert has drawn heavily on the skills he has learned in conducting research involving the history of the campus and the local community in Jean-Paul Benowitz’s course Honors/Public Heritage Studies 201: Elizabethtown History: Campus and Community.” Schubert’s report has been informed by his experiences conducting research for Steve Nolt as his student assistant in the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies.


Scholarship, Creative Arts, and Research Project (SCARP)



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