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Manitoba History: Review: L. Klippenstein, A. Ens and M. Franz (editors), Resources for Canadian Mennonite Studies - An Inventory and Guide to Archival Holdings at the Mennonite Heritage Centre

by David Neufeld
Canadian Parks Service

Manitoba History, Number 16, Autumn 1988

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make this online version available as a free, public service. As an historical document, the article may contain language and views that are no longer in common use and may be culturally sensitive in nature.

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Resources for Canadian Mennonite Studies — An Inventory and Guide to Archival Holdings at the Mennonite Heritage Centre. L. Klippenstein, A. Ens and M. Franz, editors. Winnipeg: Mennonite Heritage Centre, 1988. vi + 135 pp., index. ISBN 092-1258-03.

The first archivist for General Conference Mennonites in Canada was appointed in 1933. Since that time this body has collected and organized a large body (some 350 linear metres of shelf space) of records covering its past. The collections include an impressive array of institutional records covering not only church life but, because of the character of the Mennonite community, also describing relief organizations, fire insurance companies and schools. A number of personal collections provide a wealth of material on the immigration experience, details of local businesses, and insights into aspects of Mennonite community life.

The Inventory and Guide to the archival holdings is an impressive publication. The detailed descriptions of collections provide a summary of the contents of a collection, an historical sketch, a general bibliography on the topic, notes on collection provenance and a thorough description of the collection’s scope and content including an assessment of relevance to a variety of research fields. Even the brief descriptions given to a number of smaller collections provide a wealth of information on the collections’ contents and usefulness.

The usefulness of any archives is related to the number of people aware of its collections and its contents. Well organized and accessible finding aids and inventories are an important step in expanding research and enhancing scholarship in any topic. This Inventory and Guide not only contains these but, with the wealth of information provided on each collection, stands alone as a useful source for Mennonite History.

Page revised: 4 November 2012

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