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Historian donates research

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Helmut T. Huebert’s aim has always been to “help people gain a better understanding of Mennonite history, and in many cases their own family history,” said the researcher, author, and historian, in a phone interview. “Partnering with GAMEO will help make that happen.”

Huebert donated his Russian Mennonite research to the growing Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO). He is the author of nine books, and is co-author of the bestselling book Mennonite Historical Atlas with William Schroeder.

Huebert’s books documenting settlements, individuals, and estates contain a gold mine of biographical information on influential Mennonites. In his research, he consults rare newspapers, family genealogies, and other archival documents that detail the Russian Mennonite experience. His published work is sometimes the only major resource on an individual.

Connecting with people one-on-one in informal settings is also a great source of information. “It’s surprising what comes out of the woodwork,” he says of his “parking lot research.”

“It is actually quite remarkable to be offered such a wonderful resource,” says GAMEO’s managing editor Sam Steiner, based in Waterloo, Ontario. “We hope this will prompt other compilers of biographical and congregational data to consider a similar donation.”

Huebert’s materials will be edited according to the GAMEO editorial guidelines and uploaded over the next year.

The next project for the avid historian and semi-retired orthopedic surgeon, is to document Mennonite involvement in health care in Russia. He has already started his research, uncovering names of trained doctors, nurses, midwives, and other medical personnel.

Conrad Stoesz, archivist, Centre for MB Studies

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