By Jazmine Aldrich
The rich history of the Baptist community in Canada is told through the documentary traces that community members have left over time; these archival sources are dispersed across archives, historical societies, libraries, museums and all manner of repositories across the country. In Ontario, Archeion is the perfect place to begin a broad search for archival sources relating to Baptist history. Archeion is a research tool for discovering the history of Ontario and Canada through archival sources. Institutional members of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) contribute descriptions of their archival holdings to the AAO’s archival information network, Archeion. Through the nearly 100,000 archival records and nearly 20,000 people and organizations described in Archeion, skilled and novice researchers alike can reveal untold histories; among these descriptions are the stories of many members of the Canadian Baptist community, illuminated through their archival records.
Here are a few examples of Baptist histories documented in Archeion:
The John Linton fonds at the Archives of Ontario documents the career of Reverend John Linton, a Baptist minister and temperance activist, from about 1853 to 1973. The fonds includes records of a number of temperance organizations collected by Linton as a result of his research and commitment to preserving a historical record of the movement; it also includes photographs depicting conferences and individuals in the post-prohibition temperance movement, and other graphic materials including posters and cartoons.
The Edwin B. Dunke fonds held by the University of Waterloo Library, Special Collections & Archives includes records relating to Edwin B. Dunke and the Benton St. Baptist Church in Kitchener, ON, also known as the German Baptist Church of Berlin. Dunke served as treasurer of the Church around 1920. His fonds includes accounts of the Church from 1894–1923 and annual reports and financial statements from about 1919–1930.
The John Puttenham fonds at the United Church of Canada Archives documents the religious career of English Reverend John Puttenham, who came to Canada in 1888. Puttenham worked with the YMCA and performed other evangelical work, before being ordained to the ministry in connection with the Baptist Church, and serving in the following Ontario charges: Keady, Westport, Delta, Kemptville, Stayner, Decewsville and Teeterville. His fonds includes a copy of his register of marriages and some baptisms from 1899–1909 in the Baptist churches of Kemptville, Mountain, Stayner, and Boston Mills.
This is just a taste of the archival materials pertaining to Baptist history in Canada that one might discover when searching Archeion. If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com.
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Jazmine Aldrich is the Coordinator of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO)’s archival information network, Archeion. She is a settler Canadian archivist holding postsecondary degrees in History and Information Studies. Jazmine is passionate about making archives accessible
*The views of this Blog represent those of the author, and not necessarily the CBHS.**