About us

The Mennonite Archival Information Database is a discovery site for Mennonite archives containing descriptions and photographs from our fifteen archival parnters.


In Steinbach, Manitoba in 2010, archivists at a meeting of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada (MHSC) decided to form a committee for mutual support and cooperation. In 2012 the committee, meeting at MHSC sessions in  Vineland, Ontario, embarked on an ambitious project: to create one national archival database for photographs in our collections.  A task group was appointed consisting of of Laureen Harder-Gissing (Mennonite Archives of Ontario), Alf Redekopp (Mennonite Heritage Centre) and Conrad Stoesz (Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies). Korey Dyck (Mennonite Heritage Centre) joined in 2013.


The International Council of Archives Access to Memory (ICA AtoM) open source archival description software, developed by Artefactual Systems, was chosen to house the database. AtoM was chosen because of its strong support of archival standards and because improvements to AtoM's open source code benefit the global archival community. Additional software development for our project was provided by Peaceworks Technology Solutions. The database is available on the Internet as a sub-domain of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada website.

Customizations to AtoM developed for MAID include an online ordering system, a slideshow on the home page, and a text editor for static pages. Initial archival content of 80,000 photograph descriptions and 10,000 scanned images was provided by the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies, Mennonite Archives of Ontario, and Mennonite Heritage Centre. MAID was made available on the Internet in February, 2015. Later in 2015, the other partners began to contribute content. For technical details on the MAID modifications to AtoM, see the AtoM wiki.


Mennonite archives and historical organizations across Canada were solicited for support of the development project. A group of seven initial partners contributed $26,000 in development funds. When the task group completed its work in 2015, a management group was formed to administer the database under the direction of the partners and the Archives Committee of the Mennonite Historical Society of Canada. MAID welcomed its first cross-border partner in November 2016, the Mennonite Library and Archives (Fresno Pacific University) in California. Since then, MAID has grown to 15 partners on two continents.

Partnership and Support

Archival partners provide resources to maintain and improve the database. We invite historical organizations with significant Mennonite archival collections to consider becoming partners.  Cost recovery fees for photographs ordered online contribute towards the upkeep of the database.

We also invite organizations that share our vision to become financial supporters. Organizations that are not MAID partners but have contributed significant support to MAID's development include Mennonite Central Committee Canada, Conrad Grebel University College, Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society, Mennonite Historical Society of Ontario and TourMagination. Friends and family of William (Bill) Schroeder (1933-2013) contributed a memorial gift. For further information on becoming a partner or supporter, please contact us.


Individuals wishing to make gifts to MAID can write cheques to the "Mennonite Historical Society of Canada." Donations over $10 will receive a charitable receipt. Donors of $100 or more annually who wish public acknowledgement will have their name(s) listed.Cheques should be mailed to:

Mennonite Historical Society of Canada
c/o Mennonite Heritage Archives
500 Shaftesbury Blvd.,
Winnipeg, MB
R3P 2N2

Gifts can also be made through PayPal:

Permission to Link

Permission is granted to include URL references to this database for noncommercial purposes, provided that proper attribution is given.

About the MAID Logo

The image within the MAID logo is an artist's rendition of Menno Simons (1496-1561), a Duch Anabaptist leader for whom "Mennonites" are named. The image by Hugo Burkner was first published in Zweihundert deutsche Manner in Bildnissen und Lebensbeschreibungen by Ludwig Bechstein (Leipzig: Wigand, 1854).

More information

MAID news releases

Who are the Mennonites?