Projects

The Canadian Mennonite Encyclopedia Online began in 1996 as a project of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada. It was intended to be a dynamic source of information about the Anabaptist-Mennonite groups in Canada. It emerged from a congregational database created by Marlene Epp for the Mennonites in Canada history series. 

Later the Society obtained permission from Herald Press in Scottdale, PA to copy and modify entries on the four-volume Mennonite Encyclopedia published in the 1950s, and a supplemental fifth volume published in 1990. In 2005 two partners — the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission and the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee — joined the project, and expanded it to become a English-language Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO). Later, Mennonite Central Committee, the Mennonite World Conference and the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism also became partners in the project. In 2015 the Encyclopedia contained over 15,000 articles, including all articles from the print encyclopedia.

In 1999 the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada, with the financial assistance of Mennonite Central Committee Canada, undertook a multi-year project on the “Divergent Voices of Canadian Mennonites.” These have included both academic conferences and published monographs. Check Divergent Voices for further information.

Follow this path for an introduction to the Mennonite community in Canada. What do all Mennonites believe? Why are there differences between various Mennonite groups? Where are the largest Mennonite communities in Canada? What’s the difference between “Russian” Mennonites and “Swiss” Mennonites? Does one need to be born into a Mennonite community to become a Mennonite? Are the Amish related to the Mennonites? What about the Hutterites?

In 2004 the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada began to present, annually, an “Award of Excellence.”

The MHSC Award of Excellence” is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of Canadian Mennonite history by way of research, writing, organization or the dissemination of Mennonite historical knowledge. Constituent members of the society are invited to nominate persons for this award by forwarding a one page citation of that person to the MHSC executive by October 1 of each year. The MHSC executive will then select the award winner and present the winner’s name to the board for its approval with announcement of the winner at the following annual general meeting. A news release, an entry on the MHSC website, and the presentation of the parchment to the winner will follow.

The Mennonite Historical Society of Canada was established in 1966 to sponsor the writing of a history of the Mennonites in Canada. You can also read the Mennonites in Canada bibliography.

Credit: MAID CA MHC 478-38.0

Another project was to create a registry of Mennonite materials from the former USSR available in North America, primarily in microform. The St. Petersburg Microfilming Project (1996-1996) was one example.

This project was created through a partnership between the following North American Mennonite archival centres: Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia (Abbotsford), Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Fresno), Mennonite Heritage Centre (Winnipeg), and Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies (Winnipeg). Each of the four partners has a microfilm copy of the materials. Inquiries may be directed to any of the partners.

The Archive Committee of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada originally posted the inventory descriptions as a single document on its website. Now it is available here: archives.mhsc.ca/st-petersburg-microfilming-project.

Since 2015 the Archive Committee of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada together with its partnership have been managing an archival description database. Begun as a project to assist in managing photograph collections, the database also includes the description of other archival holdings held by some of the partners.

Credit: MAID CA CMBS NS25-01-66

Other projects include coordination of the major Mennonite historical libraries and archives in Canada, sponsorship of various historical monographs and a variety of academic conferences.