By MC USA staff
(Mennonite Church USA) — The creators of Anabaptist History Today (AHT), a new collaborative storytelling project, are calling on Anabaptists across the United States and Canada to share their experiences during the remarkable historical, biological and social events of 2020.
Led by co-creators Jason Kauffman, director of Mennonite Church USA (MC USA) Archives, and Jean Kilheffer Hess, executive director of Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Mennonite Historical Society, AHT is a unique, large-scale, collaborative digital project designed to specifically engage and serve the Anabaptist community through storytelling. It is supported by a total of 16 Anabaptist archives and history organizations.
“Organizations across the country have launched similar storytelling projects, but we wanted to do something that was specific to the Anabaptist community,” said Kauffman, whose vision inspired the project. “We hope this collection will offer a unique perspective on the lives of ordinary people and how Anabaptist faith and identity has shaped responses to the momentous events of 2020.”
The AHT website invites individuals, congregations, schools and organizations to tell their stories of living during these changing times. Contributors may share their experiences through a variety of media, including videos, audio recordings, photos, journal entries, artwork, poetry and personal reflections. An online form guides contributors through the process.
AHT is a pilot project for future long-term collaborations.
“Anabaptist History Today is a 21st century way for history-related organizations to collaborate that amplifies our shared storytelling and conservation work and invites others in,” said Kilheffer Hess. “I’m excited about the ways this web platform and invitation for uploads can help foreground Anabaptist community, build connections across distance, and conserve history for the future.”
Other collaborators are:
- Bethel College Mennonite Library and Archives, North Newton, Kansas
- Bluffton University Archives, Bluffton, Ohio
- Brethren & Mennonite Heritage Center, Harrisonburg, Virginia
- Eastern Mennonite University Archives, Harrisonburg, Virginia
- Heritage Hall Museum & Archives, Freeman, South Dakota
- Hesston College Archives, Hesston, Kansas
- Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism, Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana
- Iowa Mennonite Museum and Archives, Kalona, Iowa
- Mennonite Central Committee Archives (U.S.), Akron, Pennsylvania
- Mennonite Central Committee Archives (Canada), Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Mennonite Heritage Archives, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, Pennsylvania
- Mennonite Historical Society of British Columbia, Abbotsford, British Columbia
- Pacific Northwest Mennonite Historical Society, Hubbard, Oregon
To learn more about the AHT project, visit https://aht.libraryhost.com/s/archive/page/Welcome.
The Mennonite Church USA Archives seeks to inspire people to follow Christ by engaging them with the historical record of Mennonite Christian discipleship. The archives is the official repository of the records of MC USA and the (old) Mennonite Church. Archival holdings also include a large collection of personal and family papers, conference records and congregational records documenting Mennonite life in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The MC USA Archives is based in Elkhart, Indiana.
Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 86 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana and Newton, Kansas.