New collection boosts Penn State's Anabaptist holdings

September 05, 2008

The Penn State University Archives recently acquired a substantial collection of archival materials from Gertrude Enders Huntington, professor emeritus, anthropology (specializing in rural sociology), of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Huntington, who holds a doctorate in social science from Yale University, is a pioneer in Anabaptist research and studies of children as anthropological field assistants. Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing through the present, she has conducted extensive research of Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite peoples, and has lived in their communities across North America. Her three-volume dissertation on the Amish of Ohio has received wide acclaim, as have her other works, including those co-authored with Anabaptist scholar and Penn State Professor John Hostetler. She also has researched and written about other communal societies and intentional living communities.

Huntington's collection includes her field notes, audiotapes of interviews, journal articles, research materials, books and community histories. This new addition to the University Archives joins both the John Hostetler archival collection and the Christopher Gaines Memorial book collection on Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite peoples. These three collections combine to create one of the largest and most impressive Anabaptist archival collections in the United States.

The collection is open to the public and can be accessed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some extended hours during the fall and spring semesters. The Penn State University Archives are part of the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, University Park. For information, contact University Archivist Jackie Esposito at (814) 863-3791.


  • Huntington is pictured here with her daughter.

    IMAGE: Penn State University Archives

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Last Updated November 18, 2010