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Mennonite Library and Archives

The Mennonite Library and Archives (MLA) is operated by Bethel College.

The purpose of the MLA is to help people answer questions about the Mennonite past. To do this, the MLA collects, preserves, and makes available personal papers, documents, periodicals, books and other media related to Mennonite studies. The MLA serves as the official archives of Bethel College and Western District Conference and as a research center promoting the study of Anabaptist and Mennonite history. The MLA is open to the public.

The MLA has in its holdings about 30,000 books, 8,200 volumes of bound periodicals, and approximately 6,100 cubic feet of archival records. In addition, there are large collections of audio and video recordings, microforms, photographs, motion pictures, maps and other items.

The MLA operates on a very tight budget, as do most historical organizations. We would be glad for any monetary donation you might be able to give us toward the work of preserving Mennonite collective memory.


The Mennonite Library and Archives is located in the Bethel College library building. We are on the main floor of the old side (east side) of the building.

Lodging in the area

There are a number of lodging options in the Newton area and beyond within close proximity of the Bethel College campus. Here is a full listing of hotel options, along with contact information.


John Thiesen

Co-director of libraries / Archivist

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.