Projects available

Russlaender family register digitization and indexing project

Purpose: With the centenary of Russian Mennonite immigration directly to Ontario in 2024, the Archives is undertaking a project to digitize and index hundreds of family register sheets created by Russlaender churches in Ontario. These sheets hold details of the family's migration and their early years in Canada. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute to Mennonite genealogy and research that will illuminate the lives and journeys of these immigrants!

Description of work: Locating the names and life dates of "heads of household" on the register sheets and entering these into a spreadsheet which will be used to create an index. The index will be made available on a website along with scans of the register sheets.

Skills required: Attention to detail. Persistence in reading handwriting, particularly in German. Familiarity with typical Russian Mennonite names is a strong asset. Ability to enter basic data into a spreadsheet is helpful; volunteers could also work in pairs with one reading the text and the other entering the data. Here is an example of a family register sheet, and below is the data entry for that sheet:

how that sheet will look in

Location of work: Volunteers will work primarily at the Archives to get staff support and have access to the print documents. If you are adept at the skills required and have access to a computer, working remotely from scanned sheets could be arranged.

Estimated time of completion: This is an ongoing project which we hope to complete in 2024.

Scanning photographs into our photo database

Purpose: To make more of the Archives’ photograph collection available on the Internet.

Skills required: Attention to detail. Familiarity with common computer tasks. Scanning training is provided. Further training in data input is provided for volunteers interested in learning archival description.

Estimated time of completion: This is an ongoing process, as we have several hundred unscanned photographs at any one time.

Filing and sorting paper records

Purpose: These routine tasks are important because they make archival records more accessible.

Skills required: Attention to detail. Training is provided.

Estimated time of completion: Filing and sorting tasks are available on an ongoing basis.


Generally 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238