Klippenstein, Lawrence, Margaret Franz, and Adolf Ens, eds. Inventory and Guide to Holdings of the Mennonite Heritage Centre. Winnipeg, MB: The Mennonite Heritage Centre, 1988. Pb., 135 pages, $7.50 Cdn.
The various Mennonite archival centers across North America contain a rich array of historical documents relating to Mennonite faith and life. Many of these resources already have been utilized by scholars and the resultant publications have enriched our self-understanding; other collections still await the attention of future researchers. Unfortunately, many of these potential resources remain untouched simply because scholars do not know of their existence. The Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with the publication of Resources for Canadian Mennonite Studies, has done much to insure that its records will not suffer such a fate. This guide provides detailed information on the content, quantity and significance of the Centre’s extensive holdings of both institutional archives and personal manuscript collections. Most of these records relate either directly or indirectly to the Conference of Mennonites in Canada, the sponsoring agency for the Centre. There are also, however, considerable resources of an inter-Mennonite nature itemized in this guide, increasing its value to researchers from other Mennonite conferences. This important work should set a precedent for similar contributions by other Mennonite archival institutions. Copies of the Inventory are available from the MHC, 600 Shaftesbury Blvd., Winnipeg, Canada, R3P OM4.
CENTER RESTORING EARLY HILLSBORO MB CHURCH
The Center for M.B. Studies in Hillsboro, Kansas, will soon receive a unique gift; a pioneer prairie church building, which will be located in the Tabor College park.
The Hillsboro M.B. Church was born in 1881. For a decade the small congregation met in a little red school house. In 1893 a wooden structure (28’ x 48’) was built at the site of the present church. In 1902 the building was enlarged. In 1908 this building was used for classes until the new Tabor College building was completed. For the next two years this church was used extensively for many college-related activities.
The rapid growth of the college and the church led to the building of a much larger sanctuary in 1910. The old church was sold to a local Holdeman congregation and used by them until 1971, at which time it was sold to Raymond Wiebe, who moved it to his farm southeast of Hillsboro for preservation.
This church is now being restored by a group of volunteers from Hillsboro. It is believed to be the oldest Low German Church structure in the United States. It is a “generic” prairie church commonly used at the turn of the century.
The Center for M.B. Studies is developing plans to use this facility to help tell the story of the M.B. pilgrimage in North America.