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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

Eastern Mennonite University: Menno Simons Historical Library/Archives

Address: 1200 Park Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801-2462
Telephone Number: (540) 432-4177
Fax Number: (540) 432-4977
Contact Persons: Lois B. Bowman, Librarian
Cathy Baugh, Assistant Librarian
Nate Yoder, Archivist
Internet Catalog Address:

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Friday 9 am - 12 noon & 1 pm - 5 pm.
It is suggested people call ahead before coming.
Open to the public: Yes
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: Yes, with some restrictions.
Open to the public: By appointment only.
Photocopying:: Yes, on a limited basis.
Interlibrary loan: No.

The Historical Library is open to the public for reference and research use. The Archives are generally open by appointment.

Reference Policy:
Limited reference service is provided in-person, by mail, telephone, and e-mail.

Borrowing Privileges:
These materials are rare and do not circulate.

OCLC, SE Library Network. Published works cataloged since 1977 are included in OCLC

Background Note:
The School was founded in 1917; the Historical Library collection was begun in 1926.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
25,011 volumes, most of which are religion-related. The inclusive dates of the collection are 1501 to the present. The Historical Library has major research holdings on the history, doctrine, life, and arts of Anabaptists and Mennonites, beginning with the 16th-century Reformation. The particular focus of these materials is the Dutch wing of Anabaptism. There are significant works on the history and development of the Mennonites from the 17th century to the present, including Pennsylvania German materials such as Ephrata and Saur imprints; extensive materials pertaining to the Amish; and an outstanding collection of central Shenandoah Valley imprints (Harrisonburg, Singers Glen, Dayton, New Market), including large holdings of the publications of Joseph Funk. Eastern Mennonite University has perhaps the most extensive collection in North America of the etchings (mostly in books), of the Dutch artist, Jan Luiken (1649-1712)

The OPAC includes records from 1977 to present. These are available on the Internet catalog. The card catalog covers through the summer of 1995.

Periodicals and newspapers:
465 current subscriptions; 976 non-current titles; approximately 8,006 non-current volumes. Inclusive dates of this collection are 19th century to present. The Historical Library collects published records that apply to any Mennonite group in the area, as well as some unpublished material. The collection includes many regional and local journals, area conference proceedings, and newsletters. Beginning May 1996, serials will be entered in the OPAC.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
Approximately 200 linear feet. Inclusive dates of this collection are 1830 to present. The Archives contains the official papers of the Eastern Mennonite University and the several schools that developed since Eastern Mennonite School began in 1917. There are audio tapes of many events of recent decades, as well as Virginia Mennonite Conference records and manuscripts. There are personal papers, mostly Mennonite, of leaders and lay people who had institutional ties as well as Virginia Mennonite Conference ties, (e.g. Lewis J. Heatwole, Joseph Funk, Joseph K. Reubush, George R. Brunk, John K. Mumaw, Grant M. Stoltzfus, J. Harvey Yoder, Myron Augsburger, Grace Showalter, and others.) The collection includes Mennonite records and congregational materials.

Most materials are inventoried by archival box. Virtually no archival or manuscript collections are available in the OPAC. Some materials are listed in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

516 microfilms; The subject matter is Mennonite history in the form of journals and dissertations. Some finding aids are available for this collection.

Videos and Sound Recordings:
1100 audio tapes, mostly of special Eastern Mennonite College and Seminary and, after August of 1994, Eastern Mennonite University events.

Vertical files:
1,949 vertical file folders; These include a 20th century collection with minutes of Eastern Mennonite University and Eastern Mennonite High School; over 1,000 college term papers on Mennonite history and Mennonite congregational history; a clipping file containing newspaper articles, pamphlets and other items concerning Mennonite and Amish history. The vertical file is organized alphabetically.

Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
Approximately 4,500 engravings, paintings, photographs, prints and 2,000 slides. Most of the collection is 20th century although the engravings and broadsides are 17th century. Most relate to Mennonite history. The Luiken collection includes broadsides and engravings. Many of the latter are in books.

Databases, CD-ROMS, and other machine-readable sources:
ATLA Religion Database on CD-Rom.

Subject Headings

Amish; Anabaptists--History; Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712; Mennonite genealogy; Mennonites; Mennonites--History; Reformation


Pellam, Herbert R. Eastern Mennonite College, 1917-1967: A History. Harrisonburg, VA: Eastern Mennonite College, 1967.

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  September 13, 2011
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