Annotated Bibliography of the Amish (Monograph)

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Title page of Annotated Bibliography of the Amish

John A. Hostetler. Annotated Bibliography of the Amish: An annotated Bibliography of Source Materials Pertaining to the Old Order Amish Mennonites. Scottdale, Pennsylvania. Published by Mennonite Publishing House. 1951, xx, 100 pp.

Annotated Bibliography of the Amish is an enumerative bibliography listing 456 items in four parts: Part A "Books and Pamphlets," 224 items; Part B "Graduate Theses," 21 items; Part C "Articles," 195 items; and Part D "Unpublished Sources," 16 items. The work sold for $1.50 and 1,500 copies were printed.

The bibliography includes an "Introduction" by Harold S. Bender, then information on the Amish in the "Preface," "Location and Number of Church Districts by Counties,” USA map giving location of Old Order Amish communities and a “Forward.” The work concludes with an "Analytic Subject Index" and "Addresses of Periodicals, Newspapers, and Other Sources Cited."

In 1951 Amish adult members numbered 14,874 but with children the denomination had at least 30,000 souls in the USA and Canada. By 1951 they were beginning to be observed and studied for their culture, language, religious principles and social organization and scholars sought authentic information on them. This Annotated Bibliography of the Amish met that need. John A. Hostetler (1918-2001), who became the preeminent sociologist of both Amish and Hutterites in the second half of the 20th century, compiled the bibliography while he was a Goshen College student studying Mennonite history. His professor, Harold S. Bender, was instrumental in seeing its publication through simple lithograph printing.

The author directed his bibliography to researchers and attempted to list all books pamphlets and articles on the topic from both Europe and America and from the origin of the Amish in 1693 to June 1950. An important feature of the Annotated Bibliography of the Amish is the evaluative and informative comments by Hostetler on each entry. The bibliography lists works in Dutch, English and German, and was quite complete in listing published works that both favored and opposed Amish, both academic and popular works including fiction and opinion pieces. His inventory of graduate theses missed about half of those written and the Section D, “Unpublished Sources” lists only materials held in the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. Hostetler’s Annotated Bibliography of the Amish was the standard bibliography for almost three decades until superseded by specialized bibliographies and by Klassen and Springer’s Mennonite Bibliography, 1631-1961, (Scottdale, Pa. 1977)

In 1951 this bibliography was awarded the annual Chicago Folklore Prize of $50.00 given jointly by the American Folklore Society and the University of Chicago.


Gingerich, Melvin. [Book review]. Mennonite Quarterly Review 25, no.3 (July 1951): 226-227.

Kraybill, Donald B. "In Memoriam: John A. Hostetler, 1918-2001." Mennonite Quarterly Review 75, no. 4 (October 2001):403-405.

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Author(s) Victor G Wiebe
Date Published May 2011

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Wiebe, Victor G. "Annotated Bibliography of the Amish (Monograph)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. May 2011. Web. 18 Aug 2019.

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Wiebe, Victor G. (May 2011). Annotated Bibliography of the Amish (Monograph). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 August 2019, from

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