The Mennonite Heritage Center houses a growing body of manuscript collections from local Mennonite and Brethren individuals and families. There are over 550 manuscript collections at the MHC, ranging in size from one folder to many boxes. Below is a list of significant collections.
Highlighted names link to finding aids.
For research in museum and archival collections, please schedule an appointment with collections manager Joel Alderfer (phone: 215-256-3020, ext.111).
Ministers & Church Workers
Bean, Warren G. (1866-1949) – Hist. Mss. 69
–bishop, Upper Skippack congregation; moderator of Franconia Conference, 1937-1947
Clemens, Jacob C. (1874-1965) – Hist. Mss. 3
–minister and evangelist, Plains congregation; first secretary of Franconia Conference, 1909-1949
Detweiler, Richard C. (1924-1991) – Hist. Mss. 259
–bishop, Perkasie and Souderton congregations; moderator of Franconia Conference, 1969-1975; president of Eastern Mennonite College, 1981-1987; see also photo inventory
Fly, Harold S. (1921-1997) – Hist. Mss. 59
–minister, Towamencin congregation
Fretz, Allen M. (1853-1943) – Hist. Mss. 414
–bishop, Deep Run West and Zion congregations; ministry throughout the Eastern District Conference
Groff, Llewellyn (1906-1986) – Hist. Mss. 77
–mission worker (exploration of Mexico missions, 1956)
Gross, Jacob (1743-1810) – Hist. Mss. 151 and HM 387
–bishop, Deep Run congregation (farewell letter to congregations; correspondence with minister Peter Weber in Germany)
Gross, Jacob K. (1780-1865) – Hist. Mss. 6
–bishop, Ontario, Canada (correspondence)
Grubb, Nathaniel B. (1850-1938) – Hist. Mss. 84
–bishop, First Mennonite Church of Philadelphia
Hunsicker, Abraham letters to John H. Oberholtzer, 1845-1851 – Hist. Mss. 360
–founders of Eastern District Conference (26 letters–photocopies)
Kratz, Clayton H. (1896-1920) – Hist. Mss. 317 (collected material)
–MCC relief worker lost in Russia, 1920
Lapp, John E. (1905-1988) – Hist. Mss. 1
–bishop, Plains congregation; moderator of Franconia Conference, 1953-1969; Mennonite General Conference (committees, esp. peace); see also photo inventory and audio inventory
Lederach, Paul M. (1925-2014) – Hist. Mss. 435
–bishop, Franconia and Allegheny Conferences; Mennonite Publishing House (curriculum department); president of Mennonite Board of Education, 1966-1971
Lederach, Willis K. and Mary Mensch – Hist. Mss. 530
–mission workers, Norristown Mennonite Mission, 1920s
Mensch, Jacob B. (1835-1912) – Hist. Mss. 8
–minister, Upper Skippack congregation; church records, 1870s-1910; unofficial minutes of Franconia Conference, 1880-1907 (significant correspondence–1,600 letters, 1860-1911)
Mininger, Hettie Kulp (1874-1965) – Hist. Mss. 305 (photocopies)
–urban mission worker (biographical article)
Moyer, Jacob M. (1891-1967) – Hist. Mss. 27
–bishop, Souderton congregation; secretary of Franconia Conference, 1949-1961
Moyer, Mark E. (1920-2013) – Hist. Mss. 7
–Civilian Public Service (correspondence)
Nice, Garret S. and Jane Delp – Hist. Mss. 31
–treasurer of Franconia Mennonite Mission Board, 1917-1944
Rosenberger, Arthur S. (1898-1968) – Hist. Mss. 33
–minister in the Eastern District Conference and at Dalton, Ohio; educator; president of Bluffton College, 1935-1938
Ruth, Arthur D. (1892-1986) – Hist. Mss. 103
–bishop, Line Lexington congregation; moderator of Franconia Conference, 1947-1953
Ruth, Ella L. (1910-2010) – Hist. Mss. 440
–secretary, Brunk Brothers Revival Campaign, 1950s
Ruth, Joseph G. (1857-1928) – Hist. Mss. 205
–bishop, Line Lexington congregation
Ruth, Winfield M. (1909-2003) – Hist. Mss. 443
–bishop, Swamp congregation
Seitz, Kenneth L. (1916-2008) – Hist. Mss. 484
–missionary to Mexico
Shelly, Andrew B. (1834-1913) – Hist. Mss. 275
–minister in Eastern District Conference; president of General Conference, 1874-1896 (correspondence)
Shisler, Claude M. (1907-2000) – Hist. Mss. 423
–minister, Finland congregation; manager of Herald/Provident Bookstore, Souderton
Shisler, Sara C. (1896-1968) – Hist. Mss. 214 (also HM 436)
–Brethren missionary to Nigeria, 1926-1961
Historians & Genealogists
Bower, Mary L. (1876-1961) – Hist. Mss. 94
–genealogist, Latshaw-Bower-Borneman families, Boyertown area, Berks Co.
Bucher, Robert C. (1911-2008) – Hist. Mss. 79
–local historian (focus on Lower Salford Twp., Montgomery Co.)
Butterweck, Russel S. (1892-1976) – Hist. Mss. 225
–genealogist, Butterweck-Bergey-Smith-Keeler-Nyce families, Montgomery Co.
Clemmer, Abram L. (1894-1971) – Hist. Mss. 133
–genealogist, Clemmer-Lapp families, Montgomery Co.
Delp, Priscilla L. (1910-1988) – Hist. Mss. 233
–local Mennonite historian and genealogist; writer
Fretz, J. Herbert (1921-2013) — Hist. Mss. 414
–historian (focus on Eastern District Conference)
Fretz, Jacob Y. (1908-1987) – Hist. Mss. 36
–historian (focus on Bucks County Mennonites)
Halteman, Milton L. (1869-1955) – Hist. Mss. 163
–genealogist, Halteman-Haldeman family, Montgomery Co. and Chester Co.
Hershey, Mary Jane Lederach Hershey (1930- ) – Hist. Mss. 407
–fraktur research collection
Hunsicker, Abraham C. (1909-1991) – Hist. Mss. 248
–genealogist, Hunsicker-Cassel-Kulp-Allebach families, Montgomery Co.
Kulp, Isaac Clarence (1938-2007) – Hist. Mss. 436
–historian and antiquarian
—personal papers and project files
—historical collection (incl. A. H. Bergey, Cassel-Shisler, and J. S. Renninger papers)
—Brethren collection (incl. Indian Creek COB records and ministerial papers)
—photo collection (incl. Jonas Nyce prints and negatives and Rebecca Foutz photo collection)
Click here for an item-level inventory of the photo collection
Landes, Henry S. (1871-1950) – Hist. Mss. 143
–genealogist, Landes-Landis family, Montgomery Co. (photocopies)
Landis, B. Harrison (1905-1984) – Hist. Mss. 76
–genealogist, Landis-Detweiler-Gehman-Hockman families, Bucks Co.
Lederach, Paul E. (1930-2001) – Hist. Mss. 517
–genealogist, Lederach family, Montgomery Co.; architect
Pennypacker, Samuel W. (1843-1916) – Hist. Mss. 13
–historian; author; antiquarian; governor of Pennsylvania, 1903-1907
Reinford, Wilmer L. (1916-2007) – Hist. Mss. 469
–historian and genealogist, Skippack area families, Montgomery Co.
Rice, Timothy P. (1958- ) — Hist. Mss. 358
–church historian (Deep Run Mennonite Church East)
Rosenberger, Marvin C. (1920-1993) – Hist. Mss. 303
–genealogist, Shelly-Rosenberger-Ruth families, Bucks Co.
Studer, Gerald C. (1927-2013) – Hist. Mss. 328
–historian and author (focus on Christopher Dock; powwowing); minister
Ulle, Robert F. (1948-1986) – Hist. Mss. 247
–historian (focus on Germantown Mennonites; African-American history; social justice)
Artists & Tradespeople
Anglemeier, Adam – Hist. Mss. 242
–tailor (account book, ca. 1800), Lower Saucon, Northampton Co.
Bucher, Charles S. – Hist. Mss. 540
–cattle dealer, Harleysville, Montgomery Co.
Histand, William L. (1911-1994) – Hist. Mss. 23
–photographer, Doylestown, Bucks Co.
Hunsberger, Martin T. (1804-1872) – Hist. Mss. 325 (photocopies)
–musician, North Coventry, Chester Co.
Johnson, Henry M. (1874-1960) – Hist. Mss. 359
–schoolteacher (public school, 1897-1943), Skippack, Montgomery Co.
Kulp, David C. (1777-1834) – Hist. Mss. 135
–schoolteacher, Bedminster, Bucks Co.
Nyce, Jonas H. (1884-1948) – Hist. Mss. 3-93 (also HM 436)
–photographer, Vernfield, Montgomery Co.
Nyce, William G. (1888-1958) – Hist. Mss. 382
–entrepreneur, Vernfield, Montgomery Co.
Rush, Walter D. (1899-1975) – Hist. Mss. 4
–photographer and entrepreneur, Plumsteadville, Bucks Co.
Ruth, Vincent M. (1885-1960) – Hist. Mss. 232
–veterinarian, Franconia, Montgomery Co.
Personal & Family Papers
Althouse, Wilmer B. (1901-1994) – Hist. Mss. 153
–deeds from his Doylestown, Bucks Co. farm, 1734-1868
Bergey, Henry R. (1843-1925) – Hist. Mss. 142
–thoughts, poems, memories, records, 1919-1925 (photocopies)
Bergey, Salome K. (b. ca.1849) – Hist. Mss. 90
–80 letters, 1866-1878, Doylestown, Bucks Co.
Bishop, Irene L. (1922-1998) – Hist. Mss. 276
–papers from Derstine-Loux-Bishop families, Hilltown, Bucks Co., 1840s-1920s
Cassel, Mary H. (1828-1916) – Hist. Mss. 267
–diary 1858-1863, Lower Salford, Montgomery Co.
Clemens family, Lower Salford, Montgomery Co. – Hist. Mss. 257
–family account book, 1749-1857
Clemens, Elizabeth Cassel (1850-1920) – Hist. Mss. 44
–diary 1901-1913, Mainland, Montgomery Co. (photocopies)
Delp, Ernest M. and Helen Ritter – Hist. Mss. 379
–papers and photos from Delp-Ritter families, Harleysville, late 19th-early 20th cent.
Derstine, Magdalene Moyer (1877-1916) – Hist. Mss. 366
–110 letters, 1897-1903, Blooming Glen-Rockhill area, Bucks Co.
Detweiler family, Rockhill, Bucks Co. – Hist. Mss. 37
–deeds and estate papers, 1730s-1870s
Detwiler, Henry D. (1854-1936) – Hist. Mss. 118
–diary 1875-1876, Souderton, Montgomery Co.
Freed Family Association, 1912-1955 – Hist. Mss. 384
–records of the Association and Reunion, 1912-1955
Fretz, J. Clarence and Ella Landis – Hist. Mss. 326
–papers from the Fretz family of Deep Run West congregation, Bedminster, 1845-1920
Fretz, J. Herbert (1921-2013) – Hist. Mss. 414
–family papers and collected material
Funk, Henry (d. 1760) – Hist. Mss. 308
–deeds from his Franconia, Montgomery Co. homestead, 1719-1945
Gehman, Abraham S. (1848-1905) – Hist. Mss. 9
–family letters; “Four Franconia Families Letter Collection” — 657 letters from the families of Abraham S. Gehman, Bally, Berks Co.; John F. Landis, Dublin, Bucks Co.; William G. Gross, Fountainville, Bucks Co.; and Preacher John Gross, Plumstead, Bucks Co., 1848-1927
Gehman, John Z. (1793-1882) – Hist. Mss. 49 (also HM 9)
–family documents, diaries, account books, etc., Hereford, Berks Co., 1786-1880s
Good, Lizzie Wismer Conver (1857-1930) – Hist. Mss. 403
–diary 1913-1930, Spring City, Chester Co.
Gottschall-Frick family, Franconia-Souderton, 1844-1903 – H.M. 336 (also HM 175 and HM 436)
–papers from the Gottschall family of fraktur artists, Souderton, Montgomery Co.
Gross, John W. (1814-1903) – Hist. Mss. 9
–family letters; “Four Franconia Families Letter Collection”
Gross, William G. (1839-1913) – Hist. Mss. 9
–family letters; “Four Franconia Families Letter Collection”
Halteman, Elmer S. (1890-1983)
–deeds from his Upper Salford, Montgomery Co. farm, 1741-1926
Hunsberger, Norman C. (1916-1987) – Hist. Mss. 134
–deeds, estate papers, etc., ca. 1765-1968, collected by Norman Hunsberger, Souderton
–deeds from his Hatfield, Montgomery Co. homestead, 1723-1789
Kolb, Amos B. (1879-1973) – Hist. Mss. 254
–deeds from his East Vincent, Chester Co. farm, 1799-1915
Kratz, Henry M. and Sophia Shaddinger – Hist. Mss. 439
–diaries 1870-1910, Hilltown, Bucks Co.
Krupp family, Lower Salford, Montgomery Co. – Hist. Mss. 295
–estate papers, 1739-1870s
Kulp, Jacob C. and Florence Alderfer – Hist. Mss. 441
–diary (Jacob), photos, family papers, Telford, Montgomery Co., 20th cent.
Landis, Clinton D. (1899-1973) – Hist. Mss. 361
–deeds from his West Rockhill, Bucks Co. farm, 1701-1903
Landis, John F. (1839-1906) – Hist. Mss. 29 (also HM 9)
–family documents, letters, diaries, photos, etc., Dublin, Bucks Co., 1866-1912
Longacre, Isaac W. (1841-1917) – Hist. Mss. 355
–diary 1870-1914, Lower Providence, Montgomery Co. and Milford, Bucks Co.
Lukens, George (1768-1849) – Hist. Mss. 187
–diary 1812-1814, Towamencin, Montgomery Co.
Mensch, Abraham B. and Jennie Heckler – Hist. Mss. 82
–papers from the Mensch-Heckler-Seipt family of Skippack, Montgomery Co.
Meyer, Christian (d. circa 1751) – Hist. Mss. 271
–letter from “beyond the Blue Mountain”, Nicholas and Elizabeth Oplinger to Christian Meyer and Henry Funk in 1752 re. Christian Meyer Sr. estate settlement
Meyer, Hans (d. circa 1748) – Hist. Mss. 222
–deeds from his Upper Salford, Montgomery Co. homestead, 1729-1918
Moyer, Allen C. (1867-1953) – Hist. Mss. 373
–papers from Moyer-Clemens-Shoemaker family, Franconia, Montgomery Co., 1794-1896
Nyce, Wynne J. (1900-1996) – Hist. Mss. 43
–family papers and business records, Doylestown, Bucks Co., late 19th-mid 20th cent.
Price Family Association – Hist. Mss. 349
–papers and photos of Association and Reunion, 1920s-1930s
Rosenberger, Emma G. (1884-1968) and Martha G. (1890-1960) – Hist. Mss. 273
–diary 1909-1935, Hilltown, Bucks Co.
Roth, Johannes and Barbara – Hist. Mss. 321
–marriage, emigration and passport documents, 1714-1719 (photocopies)
Ruth, Charles and Rosa Moyer – Hist. Mss. 206
–papers, diaries, deeds, etc. from the Ruth family of Line Lexington, Bucks Co., 1898-1958
Shisler, Horace F. (1888-1970) – Hist. Mss. 402
–deeds, etc., from Bower-Moyer-Shisler families, Harleysville, Montgomery Co., 1865-1957
Shisler, John B. and Hannah Cassel – Hist. Mss. 299 (also HM 214 and HM 436)
–family records, correspondence, photos, etc., from the Cassel-Shisler family, Lower Salford, Montgomery Co., 1843-1930s
Smith, Harvey K. and Barbara Overholt – Hist. Mss. 429
–papers, books and music manuscripts from the Overholt-Smith family, Bedminster, Bucks Co., 1798-1885
Souder, Ruth Kraybill – Hist. Mss. 520
–papers and photos, Rockhill, Bucks Co.
Weaver, Harold and Iona Souder – Hist. Mss. 519
–family papers and photos, Collegeville, Montgomery Co.
Wismer family, Bedminster, Bucks Co. – Hist. Mss. 162
–account books, dower book, ciphering books, estate papers, etc., 1769-1890s
Yothers sisters (Ruth, Esther and Miriam) – Hist. Mss. 385
–scrapbooks, papers and photos collected by three single sisters, Souderton, 1940s-1960s
Collection of sundry local deeds, 1729-1896
–Wismer, Gotwals, Detweiler, Kolb, Bean, Keely, Ruth, Harley, Clemmer, Clemens, Stauffer
The Mennonite Heritage Center houses over 100 photograph collections, including thematic collections assembled here at the MHC and collections acquired from local individuals and families. Below is a list of significant collections.
Brethren photo collection – Hist. Mss. 3-40
–local Brethren meetinghouses, preachers, families and observances
Family Reunions photo collection – Hist. Mss. 3-61
School photo collection – Hist. Mss. 3-13
–local school group photos, late 19th-mid 20th cent.
Tent Meetings photo collection – Hist. Mss. 3-18
–local tent revival meetings, mid 20th cent.
Allebach, Alpheus C. (1909-1996) – Hist. Mss. 250
–Allebach-Cassel families, Towamencin and Lower Salford, Montgomery Co.
Bower, Mary L. (1876-1961) — Hist. Mss. 94
–Latshaw-Bower families, Boyertown area, Berks Co., 1870s-1910s
Clemmer, Jacob L. and Edna Nice – Hist. Mss. 165
–Delp-Nice families, Franconia and Lower Salford, Montgomery Co., 1890s-1940s
Delp, Ernest and Helen / Moyer, Jacob and Fannie Overdorf – Hist. Mss. 379
–Delp-Moyer-Ritter-Keeler-Binder families, Harleysville, late 19th-early 20th cent.
Haldeman, Isaiah T. and Alice Rosenberger – Hist. Mss. 184
–Haldeman-Rosenberger families, Harleysville, Montgomery Co., early 20th cent.
Kulp, Isaac Clarence (1938-2007) — Hist. Mss. 436
–many local photos, including collections from Kulp, Gottshall, Cassel, Harley, Custer, Kriebel, and Metzger families
Rittenhouse-Ziegler families, Towamencin and Upper Salford – Hist. Mss. 221, 270, and 327
–collections of cousins Irene, Elizabeth and Abram Rittenhouse; late 19th-early 20th cent.
Ruth, John L. (1930- ) – Hist. Mss. 73
–collected photo prints; photo files for Maintaining the Right Fellowship
Shisler, John B. and Hannah Cassel — Hist. Mss. 299 (also HM 436)
–Cassel-Shisler families, Lower Salford, Montgomery Co., 1860s-1930s
Stauffer, Jacob L. and Mary Jane Longacre – Hist. Mss. 347
–Longacre-Stauffer families, Chester Co. and Montgomery Co., mid 19th-mid 20th cent.
Foltz, Elwood L. (d. 2001) — Hist. Mss. 461
–approx. 1,500 slides of Pennsylvania German art and landscape
Histand, William L. (1911-1994) – Hist. Mss. 23
–images of Blooming Glen, Deep Run and Doylestown Mennonite communities, 1938-1950
Macinskas, Peter (1922-1969) – Hist. Mss. 557
–images of Indian Creek Brethren and Vernfield community, 1941-1962
Nyce, Jonas H. (1884-1948) – Hist. Mss. 337 (also HM 436)
–images mostly of Lower Salford community, ca. 1900-1910
Rush, Walter D. (1899-1975) — Hist Mss. 4
–images mostly of Deep Run Mennonite community, 1940s-1960