Help! I'm a congregational historian!

This page is designed to assist congregational historians and record-keepers of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada congregations.

Find your congregation. Check your congregation's archival descriptions to see which records we hold - and which ones are missing!

Questions? Contact Laureen Harder-Gissing, the archivist, who also serves as the Historian of Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. If needed, Laureen is also available for on-site consultations at your church.

The Big Question: What to Keep?

The Archives is here to support your work of preserving and telling your congregation’s story. In turn, your congregation’s records can assist other congregations and researchers to understand your story and the larger Mennonite story. Here is a list of materials you should consider depositing with us:

  • Annual report books
  • Annual financial statements (We do not usually accept more detailed financial records, unless they document an era of the congregation's history that otherwise has few records.)
  • Minutes of congregational, committee meetings, and other groups within the church. (Some churches have a large number of committees. In these cases, you may want to be selective in which committee minutes you commit to archiving.)
  • Membership directories
  • Congregational newsletters
  • Programmes of special events
  • Deeds, cemetery records and other unique documents requiring safe storage
  • Newspaper clippings involving church members
  • Photographs (in particular, leaders, buildings, special events and scrapbooks)
  • Sound or video recordings of a typical church service (Our goal is to collect one recording of a sermon by each of your pastors. See our listing here for more information.)
  • Congregational histories (published or unpublished)
  • Church bulletins (Bulletins provide a weekly record of your congregational life, and may contain information that slips through the cracks in other sources. Some churches also submit funeral bulletins, which often contain short biographies of church members.)
  • Other records of historical importance to your congregation or community
  • If you know of individuals or families with records that may be of historical interest in the Mennonite community (eg. diaries, letters, photographs, papers of pastors, missionaries or service workers, etc.) please encourage them to contact the Archives
  • Except for CDs or DVD recordings of church services, we are not accepting digital records at this time. Printing to paper is still the best option for long term preservation

Resources

Hours

The Archives is accessible by appointment only. Please do not visit or bring in donations unannounced.

Contact

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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238

Email: marchive@uwaterloo.ca