Mennonite and BIC Resource Centre

Classification scheme: 
XV-94

Title: Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Resource Centre fonds

Dates of creation: 1976-2012

Physical description: 30 cm of textual records

Administrative history: In 1976, Newton Gingerich proposed that Mennonite Central Committee Ontario take the initiative to bring together the various Mennonite and Brethren in Christ conferences in the province to develop a shared resource centre. In 1981, the Ontario Mennonite Resource Centre was formed by MCC Ontario and the Inter-Mennonite Conference (later Mennonite Church Eastern Canada). The Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren joined in 1984. In 1992, the name of the centre was changed to Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Resource Centre to reflect the addition of the Canadian Conference of Brethren in Christ as a sponsor. The centre was housed in the MCC Ontario building at 50 Kent Avenue in Kitchener.

The centre's first holdings were 16mm films, film strips and slide sets deposited by the sponsoring groups. In 1988, the centre expanded its mandate  to purchase audio visual (mainly VHS) Christian education materials from other sources. Later purchasing included DVDs and print books. Items were circulated primarily to congregations of the sponsoring conferences, but also schools and other churches and individuals. Holdings included a wide range of items for child, youth and adult Christian education settings. Anabaptist history and teachings were featured, along with broader peace and justice education items. Materials with a spiritual, missional, Biblical literacy, devotional or congregational life focus were purchased from a wide range of ecumenical perspectives to suit the diversity of the constituency. An online website and catalogue were launched in 1998. In 2007-2008, the centre created an integrated catalogue and online ordering system with the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada book library and the Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre in Winnipeg.

The centre was administered by managers Anne Brubacher (1981-1982,1986-2002), Eleanor Snyder (1982-1986), Sara Martin (2002-2003), Laureen Harder-Gissing (2003-2008) and Christine Derstine (2009-2012). Circulation peaked in the mid-1990s and began to decline steadily after 1999. The  increasingly broad availability of audiovisual materials, shifting priorities for the member organizations, and the timing of a new building project for MCC Ontario led to the centre's closure in 2012. Newer materials from the collection were sent to the Mennonite Church Canada Resource Centre.

Custodial history: Donated to the Archives by the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Resource Centre in 2012

Scope and content: Minutes, correspondence, policy documents and other working files related to the activities of the Centre, along with printed catalogues, newsletters and other publicity materials.

Notes: Original archival description created 2021 by Laureen Harder-Gissing.
See also some VHS tapes from the Resource Centre collection in Hist.Mss.26.3.5.

File list:

Series 1: Minutes and correspondence

  1. 1976-2012
    Note: Minutes from 2004-2007 are missing
  2. Consultations, 1999, 2000, 2008
  3. Reports to sponsoring groups, 1983-1985, 1996-2008

Series 2: Policies

  1. Policy and governance documents
  2. Acquisitions policy case study, "Decision making in a Mennonite organization," 1994-1995, 2001
    Note: A controversy over the inclusion of Body of Dissent (a video produced by the Brethren/Mennonite Council for Gay Concerns) and The Gay Issue (Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) in the centre's collection led to a review of the acquisitions policy. These events were studied by a Conrad Grebel sociology class in 2001.
  3. Privacy policy, 2004

Series 3: Working files

  1. Constituency correspondence and feedback forms
  2. Resource centres consortium, 1992, 1995, 2006-2007
  3. Copyright questions
  4. Copyright permissions for Andrew Steckly and J. Harold Sherk Alternative Service films
  5. Traveling Library program
  6. Buller Films, 1982-1985
  7. Sisters and Brothers films, 1983-1986
  8. Historical notes and loan statistics

Series 4: Catalogues and publicity materials

  1. Catalogues and catalogue supplements, 1981-1999, 2003
  2. Short Lists (highlighted titles from online catalogue), 2005-2008
  3. Newsletters and brochures, 1983-2008
  4. Publicity, miscellaneous

Hours

Generally 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.

Contact

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

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238