Eastern Mennonite University

Lois Bowman

Lois Bowman

Office Phone: (540) 432-4177


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: LB 301B

“I seek to support the mission of EMU and the larger Mennonite Church by collecting and making available to users a solid collection of Mennonite and Anabaptist materials, by assisting all users in locating the information they seek, and by protecting and preserving the collection for future generations.”

Lois is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland. At age 12 she moved with her family to Harrisonburg, her father’s hometown, and there graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School and EMU.

She worked as a student assistant in the Menno Simons Historical Library and after college graduation as a half-time employee. Her Harvard degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures, and her library science degree with a concentration in rare book librarianship were both aimed at enhancing her work in the MSHL.

Lois joined the faculty in 1963, teaching German and Latin in addition to her work in the Historical Library. As language offerings were reduced, her time was totally assigned to the MSHL. She became librarian there in 1990, following the death of Grace Showalter.

She regularly assists with the Sunday worship services at Oak Lea Nursing Home as usher (pushing wheelchairs) or organist. She is a member of the Curator Committee at Valley Brethren Mennonite Heritage Center. She is one of Virginia Conference’s representatives to EMALA (Eastern Mennonite Associated Libraries and Archives).

Lois enjoys playing piano and violin/fiddle, riding bike, hiking and camping, reading to and playing with her grandchildren, maintaining her cabin near Singers Glen, ham radio, playing Scrabble and other word games.


B.A., Eastern Mennonite University
M.A., Harvard University
M.L.S., Catholic University of America

  • Solomon Church Baptisms, 1793-1850, Forestville, Virginia, ed. by Klaus Wust; transcriptions and translations by Lois B. Bowman and George M. Smith. Edinburg, Virginia: Shenandoah History, 1989.
  • Hundreds of original cataloging records (100-200 per year), many in rare books format, contributed to the OCLC online union catalog.