Elma E. Esau was born September 14, 1917, to Edward and Clara (Claassen) Esau near Whitewater, Kansas. She graduated from Whitewater High School in 1935 and attended Bethel College for two years. She returned to Bethel and completed her BA degree in 1969. From 1943 to 1981 she volunteered and then worked for MCC and its subsidiary, MTS (Menno Travel Service). Elma Esau began her MCC service at the Ypisilanti, Michigan, relief training unit in 1943. She then worked to set up and manage relief clothing centers in Ephrata, Pennsylvania; Kitchener, Ontario; and Newton, Kansas. In April, 1945, she went to the MCC Center in London, England, and from there on to serve in Amsterdam and Copenhagen. In the summer of 1947 she traveled around the US speaking to women’s groups at Mennonite churches about MCC’s relief work in Europe, and then she remained at Akron until April, 1949, when she went to Gronau, Germany, for additional relief service. In 1951 she escorted Mennonite refugees to Brazil and Uruguay. After two years in the MCC Personnel Office in Akron, she began her work for MTS in Newton in 1953 and continued there until 1958. In 1959 she ran the MTS office in Amsterdam. From 1962 through 1965 she directed the MTS office in Beirut, returning from mid-1966 to 1967, when the office was evacuated during the 6 Day War. She worked in numerous other locations for brief terms before returning to the MTS Akron office from 1969 to 1980, where she directed the tour department and lead many tours. She retired to her family farm near Whitewater in 1981 and moved to Kidron-Bethel in 1991. She was a lifelong member of the Emmaus Mennonite Church. She passed away on November 16, 2009. The collection provides unique and extensive documentation, including original correspondence and photographs, of the MCC work with refugees during and after World War II. In her MTS career she kept diaries and photographs from the numerous tours she directed. She also collected tourist literature from the dozens of countries she visited, and during the steamship area, kept items like menus and tickets. This collection also contains the papers (1 cubic foot) of Edward Esau (Elma’s father), who was born in Hohendorf, Am Trakt, Russia, on November 27, 1887. He immigrated to the United States in 1908 to avoid the Russian Forestry Service. He lived for a year with family in Bessie/Cordell, Oklahoma, and then moved to the Whitewater/Potwin area of Kansas. From 1908 through 1936 (except 1918-1920) he received frequent letters from his family and friends in Russia, primarily from his brother, Gerhard, and sister, Renate. The letters he received constitute almost the entirety of his papers and are all in German, but many have been translated and published by Elma in Russia Letters, 1995.