The Moravian Archives is the official repository for the records of the Moravian Church in America – Northern Province. The Northern Province covers the Moravian churches in the United States (excluding congregations located in North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia) and Canada.
The Bethlehem Moravian Archives also holds records from the Moravian Church in Alaska, Labrador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Eastern West-Indies. For records from the Moravian Church in the Southern Province (North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Virginia) contact the Moravian Archives in Winston-Salem, NC, www.moravianarchives.org. Information on other Moravian collections can be found on the Moravian archives portal.
The Moravian Archives collects and preserves records and historical materials of Moravians in North America and makes them available to the public.
It is the official repository of the records of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province.
The Archives fulfills its mission through archival processing, research services, education, publications, and public programming.
¶605. (a) The Provincial Archives were consolidated by order of the Synod of 1861 with those of the Moravian Congregation of Bethlehem, were incorporated on November 6, 1975, in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, as the Moravian Archives, and are permanently housed in the Archives Building at 41 West Locust Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018.
(b) The Moravian Archives is the repository for the records of the congregations, boards, and institutions of the Moravian Church-Northern Province. The Moravian Archives acquires, preserves, and makes accessible the records of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. In addition, it collects and maintains a library of books relating to the history of the Moravian Church in the United States of America and elsewhere; and it collects and maintains other historical collections, such as collections of paintings, drawings and prints, objects, and photographs.
(c) Records of the church are defined as all documents, minutes, journals, diaries, registers, reports, pamphlets, letters, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, audiovisuals, sound recordings, electronic data records, artifacts, or any other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, created, received, or gathered by the church, its ministers, employees, congregations, boards, and institutions in pursuance of church business.
(d) Congregations, boards, and institutions of the Moravian Church-Northern Province shall transfer their non-current records to the Moravian Archives. The Moravian Archives may arrange and organize, describe, digitize, reproduce, deaccession, publish, and make these records accessible to the public, unless a restriction on the use of the records has been imposed at the time of transfer.
(e) Records of the church transferred to the Moravian Archives and younger than 50 years from the date of their creation are closed and can only be accessed with written permission given by the entity that created the record or, in case the entity is no longer in existence, by the President of the Provincial Elders’ Conference.
(f) The care and management of the Archives is committed to an incorporated Board of Directors of whom the majority shall be members of the Moravian Church. The endowment funds, the annual budget, the employment of the Archivist and other staff, the development of archival policies, the care and maintenance of the Archives Building, and all other responsibilities for the Archives are committed to the Board of Directors.
approved by Northern Province Synod, 2023
The Articles of Incorporation and the Bylaws of the Moravian Archives date from 1975. The Bylaws have previously been revised in 1983 and 1997.
The Moravian Archives is located on the campus of Moravian University, across the street from the Moravian Theological Seminary.
There is parking reserved for visitors of the Moravian Archives in the lot behind the Archives building (north side of lot P). Please ask our staff for a parking pass upon your arrival. We are also glad to send you a parking pass by email ahead of time.
The Moravian Archives
The Moravian Archives will be closed for visitors on holidays or during special programs. Please check our calendar for more details.
For more information on scheduling your visit, see plan your visit.
The Moravian Archives follows Moravian University regarding inclement weather closings. Notice of closings will be posted on this website, our social media accounts, and on Moravian weather phone line at 610.625.7995.
The Moravian Archives Bethlehem (MAB) offers many internship opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. In previous years internships included but were not limited to
The Moravian Archives does not currently have any internship opportunities available at this time.
The Moravian Archives offers a variety of volunteering opportunities for students, retirees, and anyone else interested in history and the community.
Currently, we have the following volunteer positions available:
Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to contact assistant archivist Thomas McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Moravian Archives greatly appreciates all of its volunteers. Volunteers are honored at our annual “Volunteer Party.”
President: Thomas Bross
Vice-President: Diane Windham Shaw
Treasurer: Michael A. Long
Secretary: Dr. Scott Paul Gordon
Paul Peucker studied history at the Rijksuniversiteit at Utrecht (1988) and received his Ph.D. from the same university in 1991. The topic of his dissertation is the first Moravian settlement outside Herrnhut: Heerendijk in the Netherlands.
He holds a degree in archivistics from the Rijksarchiefschool in The Hague. Paul was archivist at the Unity Archives in Herrnhut, Germany, from 1996-2004. In March 2004 he became the archivist of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Paul is the founding editor of the Journal of Moravian History and has published on various topics. His recent book, A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century was published in 2015 (Penn State University Press).
His newest book Herrnhut: The Formation of a Moravian Community, 1722-1732 (Penn State Press 2022) is also available as a German translation: Herrnhut, 1722-1732: Entstehung und Entwicklung einer philadelphischen Gemeinschaft (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2021). Both books are available from the Moravian History Store.
Thomas provides research and references services for the Moravian Archives. He completed his undergraduate studies in history, anthropology, and European studies at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in May 2011. He received a master’s degree in applied history from the same university in May 2013, focusing his graduate field work in archival studies. In December 2019, he received a master’s degree in library and information science, with an archives concentration, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Thomas previously worked at the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives and Museum, the U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center, and the Cumberland County (PA) Archives. In August 2013 he became assistant archivist at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Thomas teaches German script to adult classes, and to local middle/high school German language classes. He is the editor of The Archival Spirit, a newsletter published three times per year by the Archivists of Religious Collections Section of the Society of American Archivists, and also serves as editorial assistant of the Journal of Moravian History.
Kaitlin completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at Susquehanna University in 2013. She received her master’s degree in Library & Information Sciences from Rutgers University in December of 2017. Previously, Kaitlin worked at the Bethlehem Area Public Library and the Bangor Public Library.
In January of 2018, Kaitlin became processing archivist at the Moravian Archives. Her main responsibility is to process collections from the late 19th and 20th centuries. She is the main contact person for our congregations and Church agencies and facilitates the maintenance and transfer of congregational materials to the archives. She also oversees the library collection.
Kelly is the office manager. She works at the front desk and is the first point of contact for anyone visiting or calling the Moravian Archives. Kelly oversees our gift shop, schedules volunteers, processes payments, and coordinates the many events taking place at the Moravian Archives.
Jonathan received his undergraduate degree from Moravian University in 2008 and his master’s in Library and Information Science from Drexel University in 2011. He began working at the Moravian Archives in May of 2018.
He is responsible for the Archives’ digitization projects, including scanning and maintenance of the resulting materials. Jonathan also manages the processing and storage of born digital materials and handles digitization requests from researchers.
Emma received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art Photography from Kutztown University in 2009. She received her master’s degree in Library and Information Science (with an archives concentration) from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2022. She began volunteering at the Moravian Archives in 2018 and has worked at the Archives since 2020.
At the Archives, Emma processes 19th- and 20th-century photographic collections, working to create access to photographic albums, prints, and negatives. She is also responsible for circulation of archival materials. In addition, Emma manages the Archives’ social media and donations, and works with Kelly in the Moravian History Store.
During the past years, the Moravian Archives has received grants for the following projects.
Bethlehem Area Moravians Ministries Board. 2023. $2,000.
Annual Reports to Bethlehem Area Moravians
Reports to the Synod of the Moravian Church in North America, Northern Province
The official Newsletter of the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem. Voices from the Vault is published twice a year and is sent to all the Friends of the Archives. Want to receive news and updates from us? Join our mailing list today!
You will find the latest issue here.
The Vernon Nelson Fund provides grants to researchers as a contribution toward their expenses relating to their research at the Moravian Archives.
Funding may be given for research projects using material held by the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem. Grants cannot be given for attending the annual German Script Course. In 2021 two projects were awarded with a total of $1,400.
Rev. Vernon H. Nelson (1933-2010) was archivist of the Moravian Church, Northern Province from 1961 until 2004.
deadline: February 29, 2024
Use this form to apply for a grant from the Rev. Vernon H. Nelson Memorial Fund. Please note that the form may be completed in several sessions before it is submitted. After successfully submitting your application, you will receive a confirmation email (please also check your junkmail folder).
The Moravian Archives, Bethlehem (MAB), supports teaching, research and learning in its mission to preserve and provide access to the records of the Moravian Church in North America, Northern Province. To that end, the MAB makes freely available its collection of archival records and publications of local, national, and international origin and interest. These resources include archival and printed materials, digital surrogates, online catalogs, and descriptive metadata. These resources are made available for educational and research purposes.
By requesting access to archival records and publications made available at the MAB, the user agrees to abide by the Rules of the Archives. In support of the dissemination of scholarship, the MAB welcomes requests to reproduce materials held by the Library; however, in fulfillment of the user agreement, the user agrees to submit a permission-to-publish application to the MAB in order to notify MAB staff about of his or her intent to publish any material, in any format, from the collections of the MAB.
It is the responsibility of the requester to secure permission from the copyright holder. If the MAB is identified as the copyright holder, the MAB will give a non-exclusive right to publication upon review of the submitted permission-to-publish application. Further republication will require reapplication to the MAB. Users are encouraged to consult US Copyright Law. Regardless of whether the MAB is the copyright holder, all published materials from its collections should contain the following credit: Used with permission of the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem.
Note: Users may need to obtain other permissions for their intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy or moral rights may limit how materials may be used.
Note: a special rights, ethics and re-use statement was drafted and effectuated for the CLIR-funded project (2019) titled Uncommon Bonds. For more information, please consult Rights, Ethics and Re-use Statement. Uncommon Bonds: Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaries.
The Moravian Archives is the official repository for the historical records of the boards, agencies, and congregations of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province.
The numbers between brackets refer to the Book of Order of the Northern Province, latest edition.
The following records are to be transferred to the Archives when they are no longer in current use (¶605, ¶1034.a), preferably at regular intervals (10 or 20 years). By transferring the records to the Archives the records will be open to public access, except for sensitive records that remain restricted for 50 years after their creation (¶605.e). These records are marked here with an *; they can only be used by written permission of the pastor or chairman of the board concerned. (If a congregation closes, permission to see restricted records needs to be requested from the Provincial Elders’ Conference).
Materials should be organized in folders and placed in strong boxes (15 ½ x 12 ½ x 10 ½”). The height of the boxes is not to exceed 10 ½ inches. The folders should be labeled (e.g., “elders minutes, 1950-1955”). Please prepare a list of the content of the boxes. Sending us an electronic version of the list (e.g., by email) makes it easier for us to integrate the information into our records management system.
Do not hesitate to contact the archivist about any questions you may have!
The shelf openings in our vault are 11 inches high. Larger boxes will not fit. Sometimes congregations are creative and pack their records in boxes that came with television sets or garden hoses. In order to prevent unnecessary unpacking and repacking, we prefer you use the standard size bankers boxes.