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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

Address: 1200 Park Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Telephone Number: (540) 432-4178
Contact Persons: Simone Horst, Special Collections Librarian
Cathy Baugh, Research and Acquisition Assistant
Nate Yoder, Archivist
Online Catalog

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Friday 9am-5pm

Please call ahead before visitng the library.

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 Menno Simons Historical Library is open to the public for reference and research use. The Archives collection is made available through the Menno Simons Historical Library.

Reference Policy:
Reference service is provided in-person, by mail, telephone, and e-mail.
Borrowing Privileges:
These materials do not circulate.
Background Note:
Eastern mennonite University was founded in 1917; the Menno Simons Historical Library was begun in 1926.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
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)
Periodicals and newspapers:
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.
Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
Inclusive dates of this collection are 1910 to present. The Archives contains the official papers of Eastern Mennonite College/University and some manuscript collections of individuals related to the school. The Archives also has collections that support four main research themes related to EMU's mission. They are as follows:
  1. Mennonite revivalism with a focus on George R. Brunk II and Myron Augsburger.
  2. The Concern movement in Europe following World War II and its legacy in North America.
  3. Conflict transformation and restorative justice as scholarly disciplines.
  4. Interfaith engagement with a focus on Anabaptist-related initiatives to Jews and Muslims.

Most materials are inventoried by archival box. Archival and manuscript collections are not discoverable in the OPAC.

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:
These collecions include over 1,000 college term papers on Mennonite history and Mennonite congregational history and 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.

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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  March 14, 2022
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