MHV Book Wins Excellence Award
On October 2, 2015, Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV) received the Award of Excellence in the Research and Publications category at the annual awards banquet of the Association of Manitoba Museums. This is a significant award, as it represents recognition from Manitoba’s museum community for the excellent research, design, and production work of MHV staff in the creation of A Collected History: Mennonite Heritage Village.
At this time just a year ago, we were working frantically to get the manuscript for this book ready for production. Writers, designers, and editors were busy trimming all elements to perfection. The newly published book was then launched on December 6 at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg and on December 9 here at MHV. It immediately became a popular Christmas gift.
Vision for such a book had begun several years earlier. Roland Sawatzky, our curator at the time, had developed a plan to use approximately 40 of our museum’s artifacts to tell the Mennonite story, beginning with the Anabaptist movement in the sixteenth century.
This plan experienced a hiccup when Roland moved on to another museum, but his commitment to the project remained strong. He assured us he would volunteer his time to ensure the book’s completion. When our new curator, Andrea Dyck, reviewed the proposed project, she quickly developed an equally strong commitment to pursue it. So the work began in earnest in April of 2014.
This involved selecting artifacts to be featured, photographing selected objects, designing the book, writing the narratives related to each artifact, raising money to cover production costs, and editing the entire manuscript at multiple levels.
We very quickly found that numerous businesses in our constituency were in support of the project and willing to provide funds for the publication costs. This has allowed us to use the book as a means to generate operating revenue for our museum.
A Collected History: Mennonite Heritage Village is a picture book, a history book, a story book, a souvenir and a portable exhibit all in one. It’s also a high-quality production and deserving of this Award of Excellence. We are pleased to be recognized by our peers for the work we’ve done.
The book is available for only $20 at MHV’s Village Books and Gifts and at McNally Robinson at Grant Park in Winnipeg.