Just put it on the web!

Jason Kauffman is director of Archives and Records Management for Mennonite Church USA. Since reopening in May, I’ve had many chances to greet visitors and give them a tour of the new MC USA Archives in Elkhart. After showing them the reading room and storage vault, conversation usually shifts to the documents themselves. I’ve gotten […]

Biology for service: Archival traces of Mennonite environmentalist thought

Jason Kauffman is director of Archives and Records Management for Mennonite Church USA In 1995, the Mennonite Environmental Task Force (METF) organized a “Creation Summit” in Camp Lake, Wisconsin, that brought together farmers, educators, mission workers, and students from across North America. While the goal of the conference was to develop an “Anabaptist theology of […]

New hymnals and the politics of Mennonite music

Jason Kauffman is director of Archives and Records Management for Mennonite Church USA. “P.S. Change is not always a sign of growth but could also be a sign of shriveling, death, and decay.” This is how one chorister from Ohio ended his six-page letter to Mary Oyer in 1963. It crossed her desk at Goshen […]

New Archives director, relocation announced

ELKHART, Indiana (Mennonite Church USA)—Jason B. Kauffman of Durham, North Carolina, has been named full-time director of archives and records management for the denomination’s Executive Board (EB) staff, effective July 1, 2016. He will be responsible for planning and overseeing the relocation of the denomination’s archive collections from Goshen (Indiana) College to the Elkhart office […]

Remembering the Mennonite-Armenian relationship

Colleen McFarland is director of archives and records management for Mennonite Church USA. April 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). Armenians, a Middle Eastern people who embraced Christianity in the early fourth century, suffered persecution and pogroms under Ottoman rule in the late nineteenth century. After the outbreak of World War I, […]

Awkward Mennonite photos

Compiled by Colleen McFarland, director of the Mennonite Church USA Archives.  As someone who not only loves all things historical, but also appreciates a good laugh, I am a big fan of the Awkward Family Photos blog. If you are not familiar with this blog, it features thousands of unfortunate family portraits and snapshots commemorating […]

Why a John Howard Yoder digital library?

By Colleen McFarland The recent announcement of the completion of the John Howard Yoder Digital Library, a collaborative project undertaken by the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary Library, the Mennonite Church USA Archives, and the Mennonite Historical Library, provoked strong reactions. Public comment on news releases and private messages to members of the John Howard Yoder […]

Cooking up history: recipes in the archives

By Colleen McFarland Those of you who know me personally know that I am always on the lookout for interesting recipes to try. At work in the archives, I take special note of collections that contain recipes and sometimes spend a little time searching for hidden culinary delights. Given the enduring – and perhaps growing […]

History in living color

By Colleen McFarland Do you remember the first time you saw World War II era color photographs, perhaps of American or German soldiers, or of “Rosie the Riveter” at work in an American factory?  I do, and I vividly recall the strangeness of seeing in bright – even garish – colors what was previously known […]

Remembering Dr. Vincent Harding

By Colleen McFarland A few weeks ago, we lost a man of faith and courage who walked with Mennonites for a time.  Historian and activist Vincent Harding co-pastored Woodlawn Mennonite Church (Chicago, Ill.) in the late 1950s, served with MCC in Atlanta in the early 1960s, and lived at Reba Place Fellowship from 1964 to […]