June 14, 2013
Historical Commission meets to deliberate and celebrate
Winnipeg, Manitoba—Reflections from a summer intern, a book launch, and a visit to the construction site of the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights were all part of the annual general meeting of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission.
The Commission works with a network of four Mennonite Brethren archival centers: Center for MB Studies (Hillsboro, Kan.), Center for MB Studies (Fresno, Calif.), Mennonite Historical Society of BC (Abbotsford, BC), and Centre for MB Studies (Winnipeg, Man.).
At this year’s AGM, which occurred June 7–8 in Winnipeg, each archive reported on various projects that are underway. These include book publications, digitization of print, sound, and image media, recent acquisitions, and conferences held.
Amanda Bartel, this year’s student archival intern, reported on her summer internship. She spent one week at each archive helping with ongoing archival tasks and doing her own research on Mennonite Brethren missionaries, several of whom were her relatives. Amanda concluded her internship in Winnipeg, so she was able to report to the Commission in person. The Commission was so pleased with the internship that it decided to offer the internship again next summer. Watch for notices this fall.
Maureen Klassen’s book, It Happened in Moscow, was launched during the weekend at the Winnipeg Centre for MB Studies. Sixty people gathered on Friday evening to hear Maureen describe the stunning discovery of a family secret and the steady assurance of God’s presence through the horrors of Stalin’s purges. Copies of this Commission publication are available at kindredproductions.com (ISBN 978-1-894791-35-9, 240 pp., $21.95, paper).
On Friday afternoon the Commission toured the site of the Canadian Human Rights Museum that is nearing completion in downtown Winnipeg. The tour reminded the Commission of its own mandate to preserve and interpret the stories and records related to one particular segment of God’s people, a segment known as the Mennonite Brethren.
Since its formation in 1969, the Commission has helped coordinate the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Mennonite Brethren archival records: congregational meeting minutes, conference proceedings, personal papers, periodicals, and photographs.
—Jon Isaak, executive secretary