Classification scheme: 
Hist. Mss. 1.240

Title: Alice Snyder fonds

Dates of creation: 1948-1996, predominant 1948-1950

Physical description: 4 cm of textual records; ca. 320 photographs : col. slides

Biographical sketch: Alice Snyder was born on 17 November 1917 to Menno and Ida Snyder. She grew up on a farm on the outskirts of Kitchener, Ontario. She had four siblings: Clifford, Florence, Irene and Harvey. During World War II, Alice and Ida managed the Ontario Women's Missionary and Service Auxiliary's (WMSA) cutting room from their home. They purchased and cut cloth to be sent to congregational sewing circles. The finished garments were then shipped to Europe for wartime aid.

In 1945, Alice became the sole manager of the cutting room, now located at the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) headquarters in Kitchener. In 1948, Alice began a two-year term with MCC in Germany. Her roles included hostess for the voluntary service units where she was stationed, distributing food and clothing, and supporting the Council of Relief Agencies Licensed for Operation in Germany's (CRALOG) child-feeding program. Alice returned to Kitchener where she worked for Mennonite Central Committee as clothing depot supervisor and cutting room operator (1953-1958), travelled to Jordan to work with displaced Palestinian children (1958-1960), and returned to Kitchener as MCC Ontario's secretary (1960-1969). Her last MCC position before retirement was administering the Hardy Geddes household of the Ailsa Craig Boys Farm.

Custodial history: These records came to light during Lucille Marr's research for her book Transforming Power of a century : Mennonite Central Committe and its evolution in Ontario (Kitchener, Ont.: Pandora Press, co-published by Herald Press, 2003). The letters were then edited and published as Alice Snyder's letters from Germany : I guess I just won't be able to write everything I see / edited by Lucille Marr and Dora-Marie Goulet. -- Kitchener, Ont. : Pandora Press, 2009. The records were then transferred to the Mennonite Archives of Ontario by Lucille Marr's research assistant, Linda Huebert Hecht.

Scope and content: The fonds consists primarily of approximately 100 letters, mostly from Alice to her family, a journal of her first few months in Germany, and photographs in the form of colour slides of her trips to Germany and Palestine. During her interview for the MCC Ontario Oral History Project (located in Hist.Mss.22.6/23), Alice discussed some of the slides with Linda Huebert Hecht, who's research notes are located with this fonds.

Notes: Additional information in the biographical sketch was obtained from Alice Snyder's letters from Germany : I guess I just won't be able to write everything I see / edited by Lucille Marr and Dora-Marie Goulet. -- Kitchener, Ont. : Pandora Press, 2009.

File list: The fonds consists of two series:

Series 1: Writings

  1. Correspondence and reports, 1948, 1949, 1950
  2. Journal, 15 Feb 1948 - 29 Aug 1948
  3. Miscellaneous writings

Series 2: Photographs

  1. Linda Huebert Hecht's research notes
  2. Colour Slides: 
    Tray 1: Germany
    Tray 2: Palestine/Israel 
    Tray 3: Palestine/Israel 
    Note: Slides are located in Hist.Mss.10.31

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Mennonite Archives of Ontario
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