5 Online Research Resources

John M. Schmidt (1918–2008), one of the early MB radio preachers, recording a Gospel Light Hour broadcast in the early 1950s from the Logan Ave. (MB) Mission Church, Winnipeg. He recorded after 10 pm to avoid traffic noises. Photo credit: MAID CA CMBS NP191-01-74.

My COVID-19 adaptation in March and April has been to work from home—writing file descriptions, scanning photos, editing encyclopedia articles, and updating the websites I manage. And I still go to the archives each week. I work alone, so physical distancing at the archives is not difficult; but, yes, CMBS is closed to the public, until further notice.

Since many are spending more time online these COVID days, I have been promoting the many Anabaptist-Mennonite online resources available for historical research; I’m thinking of five in particular. For example, I finished scanning the 112 images in the John M. Schmidt photo collection—he is one of the Mennonite radio broadcasters that David Balzer wrote about in the March 2020 Mennonite Historian, now online at (1) the Mennonite Historian website, www.mennonitehistorian.ca/. And those photographs are now viewable online at (2) the MAID website, https://archives.mhsc.ca/john-m-schmidt-photograph-collection-2.

I also edited a biography of Schmidt for posting to (3) the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO) website, https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Schmidt,_John_M._(1918-2008), and updated the file description for Schmidt’s personal papers fonds at (4) the CMBS website, http://cmbs.mennonitebrethren.ca/personal_papers/schmidt-john-m-1918-2008/.

And I scanned 16 additional Mennonite history books, uploading them to (5) the Internet Archive website, bringing the total to 96 e-books readable online, https://archive.org/details/@jonisaak.

That makes five different websites—accessible to researchers anywhere with internet service!

Looking for a baptism photo, obituary of a loved one, or a book, magazine article, or church decision on some theological issue—there are online research resources available and people like me who can help you find what you are looking for.

This is usable history, some of the best kind!