Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan

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The Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS) was founded in 1973 as a non-profit volunteer organization committed to promote and celebrate Mennonite history, culture and religion in Saskatchewan, Canada and around the world. Three issues per year of its journal Saskatchewan Mennonite Historian are published and in addition has an Occasional Issue series for longer articles and has published several books. MHSS maintains a library and archives in Bethany Manor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and holds meetings and celebrations open to the public several times per year. Its website displays a wide variety of information on its activities, events, library and archival holdings.

History

The organization that became the Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan held its first organizational meeting as the Western Canada Mennonite Historical Society (WCMHS). This first meeting was held on 16 June 1973 in the Calgary, Alberta, Foothills Mennonite Church with Menno Epp as Chairman. This was followed by the first annual meeting on 24 November 1973. A second annual meeting was held on 9 March 1974 and this led to the organization to register under the name "The Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan and Alberta." This name change seemed appropriate for British Columbia Mennonites had recently formed their own society.

On 1 November 1986 Alberta members met in Red Deer, Alberta and decided that there was enough interest in both provinces to have separate societies and followed this by forming their own: The Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta. Thus the separate Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan (MHSS) was formed but it did not formally change its name until 1992.

MHSS Archive and Library in Bethany Manor
Photo: Courtesy of Victor Wiebe

Collections

From the beginning the MHSS began collecting documents, books, photographs, sound recordings, genealogical data and other artifacts that describes and documented the faith, families and history of Mennonites primarily in Saskatchewan but also throughout the world. With these collections came the realization that both a safe and accessible location was needed and tools to describe and preserve the collections were carefully developed. The Board approached Bethany Manor, a Mennonite Seniors apartment complex, as a place to store their collections. With the support of Bethany Manor this space soon expanded into an active functioning Archive and Library. MHSS has been blessed with the labour and expertise of many volunteers including a number of Bethany Manor residents providing volunteer time and expertise to advance its collections and services to the public. It does not collect museum type artifacts. These are collected in the several Mennonite-themed museums in towns of Rosthern, Swift Current and Hague, Saskatchewan.

Activities

MHSS had a personal membership in 2015 of over 150. Though most are located in the province of Saskatchewan MHSS has members around the world. These members support individuals, families and organizations in their writing and publishing. MHSS also maintains a database of names in over 200 Saskatchewan Cemeteries that hold burials of Mennonites. While most of its meetings are in Saskatoon it does also hold meetings in other locations which are vital to Saskatchewan Mennonite history. In addition MHSS contributes to other national and international Mennonite organizations like Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO.org), MAID the Mennonite Archival Information Database (archives.mhsc.ca), the Mennonite genealogy database (GRanDMA Online), and is a member of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada. As a service to those interested in Mennonite Christianity, history and culture, MHSS sells Mennonite books as well.

Additional Information

Address: Room 900 - 110 La Ronge Road, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan , Canada. S7K 7H8

Phone: 306-242-6105

Website: mhss.sk.ca


Author(s) Victor G Wiebe
Date Published April 2021

Cite This Article

MLA style

Wiebe, Victor G. "Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. April 2021. Web. 5 Jul 2022. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Historical_Society_of_Saskatchewan&oldid=172886.

APA style

Wiebe, Victor G. (April 2021). Mennonite Historical Society of Saskatchewan. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 5 July 2022, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Mennonite_Historical_Society_of_Saskatchewan&oldid=172886.




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