About Us

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 (except for North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Virginia) and Canada.

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General Info

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 is affiliated with the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, PA.

Mission Statement

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.

Hours & Directions

The Moravian Archives is located on the campus of Moravian College, 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

  • 41 West Locust Street
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18018-2757
  • 610.866.3255
  • info@moravianchurcharchives.org

Hours

  • Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

The Moravian Archives is open on select Saturdays during the year. You can find these on our calendar <LINK>.

The Moravian Archives will be closed for visitors on holidays or during special programs. Please check our calendar <LINK> for more details.

For more information on scheduling your visit, see plan your visit.

The Moravian Archives follows Moravian College regarding inclement weather closings. Notice of closings will be posted on this website and on Moravian weather phone line at 610.625.7995.

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Volunteering

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:

  • Moravian Roots – Data entry from old manuscripts
    Ability to read old handwriting (English or German); computer skills (database); once/week (or more if possible)
  • Moravian Roots – quality control
    ​Computer skills (database); editing skills; once/week (or more if possible). Learn more about Moravian Roots.
  • Transcriptions of German texts
    Ability to read old German handwriting; computer skills (Word); once/week (or more if possible)
  • Handyperson
    Ability to perform simple housekeeping chores; on call
  • Assistant with the gift shop
    Mailing orders; sorting, labeling; car; ability to come several times/week (during the holiday season)

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Archives to discuss available projects and a tentative schedule.

The Moravian Archives greatly appreciates all of its volunteers. Volunteers are honored at our annual “Volunteer Party.”

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Board & Staff

Board of Directors

President: Thomas Bross
Vice-President: Diane Windham Shaw
Treasurer: Karl Butz
Secretary: Alice Mosebach

  • Dr. Katherine Faull
  • Dr. Scott Paul Gordon
  • Michael A. Long
  • Rose C. Nehring
  • David S. Parker
  • Marian Shatto
  • Donald A. Squair

Emeritus:

  • Halfred C. Smith
Paul M. Peucker

Paul M. Peucker

director and archivist

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 study, A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century will be published in 2015 (Penn State University Press).

His current research project is about early Herrnhut as an example of community formation within radical Pietism.

Selected Publications

books:

  • A Time of Sifting: Mystical Marriage and the Crisis of Moravian Piety in the Eighteenth Century (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2015)
  • Herrnhuter Wörterbuch. Kleines Lexikon von brüderischen Begriffen (Herrnhut: Unitätsarchiv, 2000).
  • ‘s Heerendijk. Herrnhutters in Ijsselstein 1736-1770 (Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 1991) [PhD diss. Utrecht 1991]

edited volumes:

  • Heikki Lempa and Paul Peucker, eds. Self, Community, World: Moravian Education in a Transatlantic World, (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2010).
  • Martin Brecht and Paul Peucker, eds. Neue Aspekte der Zinzendorf-Forschung, Arbeiten zur Geschichte des Pietismus 47 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2006).
  • Groot, Aart de, and P. M. Peucker, eds. De Zeister Broedergemeente, 1746-1996: bijdragen tot de geschiedenis van de herrnhutters in Nederland. Zutphen: Walburg, 1996.

articles:

  • (with Thomas McCullough) “Religious Collections as Primary Sources for Caribbean History: A Case Stude of the Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem, PA,” in Decolonizing the Caribbean Record: An Archives Reader, ed. Jeannette A. Bastian, John A. Aarons, and Stanley Griffin 2018), 767–83.
  • “A Family of Love: Another Look at Bethlehem’s General Economy,” Journal of Moravian History 18.2 (2018): 123–44.
  •  “The Textual History of the 1742 Bethlehem Diary,” Journal of Moravian History 18.1 (2018): 102–12.
  • “Archivieren, Redigieren, Kassieren: Die Herrnhuter Archive im 18. Jahrhundert,” in Exzerpt, Plagiat, Archiv: Untersuchungen zur neuzeitlichen Schriftkultur, ed. Elisabeth Décultot, and Helmut Zedelmaier (Halle: Mitteldeutscher Verlag, 2017), 64–86.
  • “Schreiben Als Liturgie: Schreiben und Archivbildung in der Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine,” In “Schrift Soll Leserlich Seyn”: Der Pietismus Und Die Medien. Beiträge Zum Iv. Internationalen Kongress Für Pietsmusforschung 2013, edited by Christian Soboth and Pia Schmid, 431–43. Halle: Franckesche Stiftungen, 2016.
  • “Pietism and the Archives,” in The Brill Companion to German Pietism, ed. Douglas H. Shantz (Leiden: Brill, 2015), 393-420.
  • “Selection and Destruction in Moravian Archives Between 1760 and 1810,” Journal of Moravian History 12 (2012): 170-215. (earlier version in German: “In Staub und Asche: Bewertung und Kassation im Unitätsarchiv 1760–1810,” in Alles ist euer, ihr aber seid Christi. Festschrift für Dietrich Meyer, ed. Rudolf Mohr. Schriftenreihe des Vereins für Rheinische Kirchengeschichte, 147. (Köln: Rheinland Verlag, 2000), 127–158).
  • “Wives of the Lamb: Moravian Brothers and Gender around 1750,” in Masculinity, Senses, Spirit, ed. Katherine Faull (Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2011), 39-54.
  • “In the Blue Cabinet: Moravians, Marriage, and Sex,” Journal of Moravian History, no. 10 (2011): 7-37.
  • “Herrnhuter Archive als Aufbewahrungsort Pietistischer Erfahrungen,” in ‘Aus Gottes Wort und eigener Erfahrung gezeiget’: Erfahrung – Glauben, Erkennen und Gestalten im Pietismus. Beiträge zum III. Internationalen Kongress für Pietismusforschung 2009, ed. Christian Soboth and Udo Sträter, Hallesche Forschungen 33 (Halle: Franckesche Stiftungen, 2012), 695-705.
  • “Communication through Art: The Role of Art in Moravian Communities,” in Self, Community, World: Moravian Education in a Transatlantic World, ed. Heikki Lempa and Paul Peucker (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2010), 248-267.
  • “Pink, White, and Blue: Function and Meaning of the Colored Choir Ribbons with the Moravians,” in Pietism and Community in Europe and North America, 1650-1850, ed. Jonathan Strom, Brill’s Series in Church History 45 (Leiden: Brill, 2010), 179-197.
  • “The Ideal of Primitive Christianity as a Source of Moravian Liturgical Practice,” Journal of Moravian History, no. 6 (2009): 7-29.
  • “Zinzendorf’s Plan for a ‘Complete History of the True Church of Christ’,” Journal of Moravian History, no. 7 (2009): 59-82.
  • “The Songs of the Sifting: Understanding the Role of Bridal Mysticism in Moravian Piety During the Late 1740s,” Journal of Moravian History, no. 3 (2007): 51-87.
  • “Inspired by Flames of Love: Homosexuality, Mysticism, and Moravian Brothers around 1750,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 15 (2006): 30-64.
  • “Aus allen Nationen. Nichteuropäer in den deutschen Brüdergemeinen des 18. Jahrhunderts,” Unitas Fratrum. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Gegenwartsfragen der Brüdergemeine 59/60 (2007): 1-35.
  • “Kreuzbilder und Wundenmalerei. Form und Funktion der Malerei in der Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine um 1750,” Unitas Fratrum. Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Gegenwartsfragen der Brüdergemeine, 55/56 (2005): 125-174.

Thomas J. McCullough

Thomas J. McCullough

assistant archivist

Tom provides research assistance for the Moravian Archives and the Moravian Historical Society. He completed his undergraduate studies in History, Anthropology, and European Studies at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in May 2011. He received his M.A. in Applied History from the same university in May 2013, focusing his graduate field work in archival studies. Tom 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. Tom 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.

Publications

  • “Religious Collections as Primary Sources for Caribbean History: A Case Study of the Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem, PA,” written with Paul Peucker, in A Caribbean Archives Reader, eds. Jeannette A. Bastian, Stanley H. Griffin, and John A. Aarons (2018).
  • “Overview of Publications on the Moravian Church in English, 2011–2015,” Journal of Moravian History 16, no. 2 (2016): 139-168.
  • “The Most Memorable Circumstances: Instructions for the Collection of Personal Data from Church Members, circa 1752,” Journal of Moravian History 15, no. 2 (2015): 158-175.

Kaitlin A. Trainor

Kaitlin A. Trainor

processing archivist

Kaitlin completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science at Susquehanna University in 2014. She received her master’s degree in Library & Information Sciences from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 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-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She also oversees the library collection and is the contact person for our congregations.

Kelly Givens

Kelly Givens

office manager

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 Ennis

digitization assistant

Christina Giesler

finance manager

Sara Weidner

office assistant

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Grants Received

During the past years, the Moravian Archives has received grants for the following projects.

Digitizing Moravian Records

  • R. K. Laros Foundation, 2018, $20,000

Records from the Caribbean

  • National Endowment for the Humanities, 2018, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations Grant, $196,000
  • Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR), 2018, Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives, $67,049
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, 2015, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations Grant, $37,982

Reading Room Renovation Project

  • R. K. Laros Foundation, 2015, $10,000

The Moravian Archives Storage Renovation Project

  • Keystone National Bank & Trust, 2013, $7,500
  • Society for Propagating the Gospel of the Moravian Church, 2013, $1,000
  • Larger Life Foundation of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, 2013, $5,000
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2012, Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections, $148,085

Preservation Needs Assessment Program

  • Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) through funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), 2010, valued at $5,775

The Moravian Community in the New World: The First Hundred Years

  • Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR), 2009, Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives, $90,000, in partnership with Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

“Connecting to Collections Bookshelf”

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), 2009, valued at $800

Roof replacement 2007/2008

  • Provincial Elders’ Conference, Moravian Church, Northern Province, 2008, $37,142
  • Bethlehem Area Moravians, 2008, $37,142
  • United Brethren’s Church, Staten Island, New York, 2007, $10,000

Records Online Project

  • Anonymous foundation, 2007, $14,615

Moravian Education

  • Commonwealth Libraries of Pennsylvania, Library Services and Technology Grant to process the records of the Moravian Female Seminary, 2006-2007, in partnership with Reeves Library (Moravian College) and Bethlehem Area Public Library

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Annual Reports

Annual Reports to Bethlehem Area Moravians

Reports to the Synod of the Moravian Church in North America, Northern Province

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Research Grants

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 records held by the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem. In 2017 three projects were awarded with a total of $975.

Rev. Vernon H. Nelson (1933-2010) was archivist of the Moravian Church, Northern Province from 1961 until 2004.

deadline: February 28, 2019

Selection Criteria

  1. Funding may be given for scholarly research projects using records held by the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem.
  2. Projects will be assessed on the general significance of the proposed research, the scholarly value, the relevance to Moravian studies, and the likelihood of timely completion of the proposed research.
  3. Grants are renewable.
  4. Applicants need to be 18 years or older.
  5. Grants may be used for travel to Bethlehem, PA (incl. transportation and lodging, not for meals), reproductions, translations, and publications. (Please note that it is allowed to photograph records in the reading room at no charge)

Application process

  1. Deadline for grant applications is the last day of February.
  2. Applications need to be submitted through the form below.
  3. Applicants need to provide personal information (name, address, email address, telephone), information on the research project (title, narrative, timeline), a budget, and upload a CV and a letter of reference.
  4. Applicants will be informed in March or April.

Requirements

  1. Grant winners are required to mention the grant in resulting publications.
  2. Grant winners need to send a complimentary copy of resulting publication to the Moravian Archives.
  3. If the grant was for translation, a copy of the translation is to be sent to the Moravian Archives.
  4. Grants need to be spent within a year after they were awarded.
  5. Grant winners need to submit a report about the completion of the project, including a statement of how the funding was used, before the last of April of the following year.
  6. Names of grant winners and their projects will be published on the website.

Grant Application

Research Grant Application

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.
  • Title of the project for which funding is requested
  • State the importance of the project
  • Please provide a detailed budget, including the amount requested
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
    Choose a file from your computer to upload.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf, doc, docx.
    Choose a file from your computer to upload. One letter of reference is required, but you may upload up to three letters if desired.
  • If awarded, I agree to mention the grant in any resulting publications, to send a complimentary copy of any resulting publication to the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, PA, and - if applicable - to send a copy of a translation funded by the grant to the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, PA. I agree to spend the grant within a year after it is awarded and to submit a report about the completion of the project, including a statement of how the funding was used, by the last day of April of the following year. If awarded, my name + project title will be listed in publications of the Moravian Archives, including the website.

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Use Policy

Access Policy

  1. New researchers must complete the Archives’ registration form and provide personal identification.
  2. Every visitor has to sign the visitor log upon arrival and departure.
  3. You may use one of the lockers outside the reading room to store personal items. Bags, etc. are not allowed in the reading room.
  4. When handling documents and books, make sure you have clean hands. Researchers must wear gloves when handling photographs, maps, and objects.
  5. Researchers must work in pencil.
  6. A call slip needs to be filled out for every requested item.
  7. All materials must be handled with care. Do not write on materials or take notes on top of materials. If you have questions on how to handle items, please ask the archivist for assistance.
  8. Food and drinks are prohibited in the reading room and in the gallery. Smoking is prohibited throughout the facility.
  9. Researchers may not enter the vaults.
  10. Researchers must maintain an atmosphere of quiet in respect of other researchers. Accommodations can be made in advance for groups who wish to work together and discuss their research.
  11. Researchers may be warned and/or asked to leave if they do not abide by Archives’ rules.
  12. The Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, restricts access to any records younger than 75 years. Other record groups may have restrictions as well. Access to restricted records is only possible with special permission.
  13. The use of a digital camera or a phone to make images of items in our collections is permitted for study purposes.
  14. Written permission from the archives is required for the publication of an image of any item in our collection.
  15. In accordance with the policy of the Moravian Church in America, Northern Province, no person is allowed to carry a weapon in the archives’ building unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors of the Moravian Archives.

Rights and Re-Use Policy

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.