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Archives Launches Guide to Ontario Mennonite Peace History

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Peace Research at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario website

What was it like to be a conscientious objector during World War II? Did Mennonites participate in the War of 1812? Did Mennonite women contribute to World War I relief efforts? Do Mennonites celebrate Remembrance Day?

These are some of the questions asked at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by genealogists, local historians, school children and academics. The “peace position” has been part of Mennonite doctrine and practice for nearly 500 years.  Naturally, there is a great deal of curiosity about how the Mennonite commitment to non-participation in war has provided them with unique historical experiences and perspectives.

To encourage this growing interest, the Archives has created a peace research guide to our holdings. Since archives are organized by creator not subject, identifying peace-related sources can be time consuming. The guide identifies source materials for peace history with a focus on Mennonite responses to military conflicts. Researchers can use the guide to locate materials of interest, and then make an appointment at the Archives to view them in person.

Spanning the years 1786 to the present, the guide highlights the rich collections in peace history held at the Mennonite Archives of Ontario. Listings range from 19th century military exemption papers and First World War military tribunal correspondence, to taped interviews with Second World War conscientious objectors and efforts by Ontario Mennonites to raise awareness of Central American conflicts in the 1980s. As the guide is electronic, new listings will continue to be added as peace-related historical documents make their way to the Archives.

The guide is located at: subjectguides.uwaterloo.ca/peacearchives.

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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