The material in the Peter Epp collection ranges in dates from 1885-1915, though the notebooks were started in 1900. The collection consists of poetry, financial ledgers, correspondence, articles to newspapers, genealogical registers and reports on literary society meetings.
The poetry dates back to 1875. These poems are written by Peter Epp and chronicle various kinds of people and events such as birthdays, weddings, Christmas, immigration, and life at school. Some of the poems were published in German papers such as Die Mennonitische Post. After Epp's death, his son printed the
poems separately in book form.
The financial ledgers start in 1902 and continue until 1915. They are probably records of Epp's involvement as president of the Fire Insurance Society in southern Manitoba (Brandaeltester der Mennonitengemeinden in Sued-Manitoba) during these years.
The correspondence, ranging in date from 1900-1915, is directed to places in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
There are a number of religious articles included in the notebook. Most of these, dating from 1900-1915, were printed in newspapers such as Die Mennonitische Rundschau.
The genealogical registers chronicle the Epp family. In 1901, Peter Epp published a genealogy of his father and descendants.
Several reports of the debates going on in the literary society meetings in Altona are also included in the collection. Epp records several arguments between various individuals, also dating from 1900-1915.
The notebooks further contain a colour drawing of a Union Jack and instructions on the use of wax and pencil crayons. Several recipes are also included.
The strength of this collection for Canadian research lies in analyzing Mennonite social life in Manitoba at the turn of the century. The wide range of material from poetry to debates to theological articles to business matters makes it a rich resource. In particular it chronicles life in a small town (Altona) and also reflects life in other major Mennonite settlements (in Saskatchewan where Epp's children lived).