About CMBS

Director: Jon Isaak, PhD jon.isaak@mbchurches.ca

A ministry of the Canadian Conference of MB Churches, the Centre for MB Studies (CMBS) resources Mennonite Brethren (MB) churches–their institutions and their people–for the mission of God that we share.

The Centre tells past and present stories of the MB community on mission in three ways:

♦preserving, describing, and making accessible historical records of churches, schools, and people

♦assisting in research and writing on topics of historical and theological interest to MBs

♦publishing books and the quarterly magazine, Mennonite Historian

Note: Researchers who contact CMBS by email with queries and receive assistance are automatically added to the bi-annual Newsletter and Appeal “Mail Chimp.” Let me know, if you do not want your email address added to the email list or if you want to “unsubscribe.”

Access to CMBS archival materials

CMBS is committed to making research materials available to users on equal terms of access. This is in accordance with standard archival policy and practice.

Equal access does not mean that all materials are open to research use. It is the responsibility of CMBS to balance the researcher’s need to access with the need to maintain the confidentiality of persons and institutions whose activities are reflected in the material. Consequently, the use of some CMBS archival material is subject to restrictions.

CMBS staff reserves the right to deny access to restricted archived materials based on donor agreements (i.e., conditions stipulated by the donor at the time the material was donated to CMBS) and/or sensitivity of the material in question. Below are some examples of how these determinations are made. The long version of the Restrictions Policy is available by contacting CMBS staff.


Material containing information, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or a libel of a living person, may be disclosed only:

  • to the named individual or his or her authorized representative, and
  • to researchers for the purpose of statistical research when such researchers have provided CMBS with written assurance that the information will be used solely for research and no individually identifiable information will be disclosed (contact CMBS staff for research agreement forms).

Material containing confidential employment or personnel information related to appointment, performance evaluation, and disciplinary action may be disclosed only:

  • if the information is a summary statement of service, or
  • if the information does not identify the particular individual, or
  • if the individual or his or her legal representative agrees to its release, or
  • if the individual is deceased or the passage of time is such that the individual may be presumed to be deceased.

Material containing information regarding confidential decision-making, including information given in confidence in the period before a determination was made, such as, but not limited to, advice given by attorneys, public accountants, and staff advisers may be disclosed only:

  • if the decision has been made public and the nature of the determinations leading to the final decision is known, or
  • if the passage of time is such that the release of the information would not impede current decision-making, or
  • if, in the judgment of CMBS staff, the public interest in disclosure outweighs the continued need for confidentiality.

Should a researcher not be satisfied with the CMBS staff’s determination of the restriction in a particular case, he or she may lodge an appeal with the CCMBC Privacy Officer.