Fonds PP - Esther Bergen fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Esther Bergen fonds


  • 1936-1980 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

7 cm of textual material

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Esther Cathryn Klaassen was born in Morden, Manitoba, on June 18, 1921, to Michael and Katherine (Dalke) Klaassen. Michael was the minister of Herold Mennonite Church, and his father, Martin Klaassen, was a church leader in Russia before him. Despite financial barriers, Esther attended high school at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Manitoba, and later also attended the Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, studying the Bible, music and German. She married Menno Bergen in 1952, and together they spent 13 years serving in Mexico under the Commission for Overseas Missions of the General Conference Mennonite Church. They also served the church and its organizations in Gretna, Taber, Alberta, and Herbert, Saskatchewan. They retired to Winnipeg in 1984, where they attended Bethel Mennonite Church. Throughout her life, Esther was heavily involved in music, both as a teacher, and as a translator of hymn texts. She translated from German, English and Spanish for hymnbooks, Mennonite World Conference songbooks and the Gospel Light Hour. She also led church activities and translated Sunday School Materials. In her later years, she organized her family's genealogical records. Esther died on March 1, 2005 in Winnipeg.

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Scope and content

This fonds contains a variety of writings and translation work by Esther Bergen. There are several collections of poetry, written in English and German on religious themes and for various events (1936 to 1980). There are several files of her translation work, with sheet music, translated lyrics and Sunday School material, in German, English and Spanish. Including are correspondence related to her translation work. Finally, one file contains Esther's writing about family history as well as some memorabilia.

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Script of material

Language and script notes

English (about 60%) and German (about 40%)

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Finding aids

Inventory file list

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Related units of description

Michael Klaassen family fonds

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Description completed by Joanne Moyer in January 2007. See also "Resources for Canadian Mennonite studies: an inventory guide to archival holdings at the Mennonite Heritage Centre" (1988: 117).




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