The Mennonite Heritage Center cares for archival, manuscript and artifact collections that document three centuries of Mennonite life in the eastern Pennsylvania counties of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh, Northampton and Philadelphia. Follow the links below for more information, or search the collections database.

Recent Acquisitions

Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville

Scratch-decorated egg

Taking a break from immigrant family stories, this week we're featuring a new acquisition related to the Easter holiday. You may be familiar with the elaborate scratch-decorated eggs of the Lithuanian tradition; but did you know Pennsylvania Germans had a similar practice of scratch decoration? You can see many examples in a chapter on this topic in Alfred Shoemaker's book Eastertide in Pennsylvania (1960). Often decorated eggs were made as presentation pieces or gifts from one friend to another at Easter. This month's featured artifact is a mid-19th-century decorated egg from the Mensch family of Montgomery County. It was donated ...
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Frederick Mennonite Home post card, circa 1905

Frederick Mennonite Home post card, circa 1905

A recent addition to the Mennonite Heritage Center collections is a post card photo of the Mennonite Home for the Aged at Frederick, Montgomery County, circa 1905. Notice the American flag flying prominently from the cupola. In the early 20th century, before the World Wars, churches of the Eastern District Conference often displayed flags. The post card is a gift of MHC Trustee Emeritus Ray K. Hacker. The catalog record can be viewed here. It joins other images in the Frederick Mennonite Home Collection, including this view from around the same time. In this photo, a set of shutters are ...
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Mennonite Heritage Center, Harleysville, PA

Provident Bookstore Photo Collection

This month we're featuring a photograph collection recently donated to the MHC: photos of the former Herald/Provident Bookstore in Souderton, mid 1950s-1990s.  The oldest photos date back to the original Herald Bookstore on Main Street and its move in 1957 to the new Souderton Shopping Center at Bethlehem Pike and Route 113. The store was later renamed Provident Bookstore and eventually sold out of Mennonite hands, becoming Berean Christian Stores and finally Lifeway Stores, before closing permanently in February 2016. Long-term employee Edie Hunsberger Randolph saved the photos and brought them to the MHC. These are just a few images ...
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Mennonite Heritage Center

Anna Funk tunebook

For several years, the MHC has featured an "Artifact of the Week" on our Facebook page, and a selection of recent acquisitions on our Library & Collections webpage. In 2017, we'll combine those features into a monthly highlight here on the blog, where we will share the story of an interesting artifact or collection recently donated to the MHC. This month we're featuring a 1786 manuscript tunebook with not one, but TWO beautiful fraktur bookplates and a poetic inscription by the owner of the book, Anna Funk of Franconia Township, Montgomery County. One book, two bookplates When the donor brought ...
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