Digital Collections Spotlight #47: Year in Review

Posted December 19, 2023 in Digital Access

As 2023 comes to an end we would like to take the opportunity to look back at a few highlights of what the Moravian Church Archives, Bethlehem, has accomplished this past year in regards to digitization.

Travel to Labrador


A highlight of this year was the opportunity to travel to several communities in northern Labrador as part of the “Uncommon Bonds: Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaries” project[1]. This was a partnership between the Nunatsiavut Government, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Memorial University Libraries, and National Heritage Digitization Strategy that was supported by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). As part of this we had digitized and processed over 57,000 pages of records concerning the activities of Moravian missionaries in Labrador so that they would be more accessible to the people there and we were very grateful to have the opportunity to visit some of these communities and present the results of the project.

Further Digitization of Collections

As we mentioned in our Year in Review post for 2022[2], we have also been working on improving the cataloging of audio-visual material in our holdings. We now have much of the audio recordings, specifically vinyl and laminate records[3], cataloged and are now working on doing the same with video media such as VHS and DVD. All of these materials will be cataloged in accordance with the PBcore metadata standard and added to our online finding aid, while we continue researching approaches to best preserve and improve access to them.

We have also continued digitizing print materials from our collection this year, a good example of this is a series of fifty-one diaries from Moravian mission stations in Nicaragua that have been scanned (such as the Yulu Station diary below) and made available through our online finding aid.

Moravian Mission in Nicaragua Yulu Station Diary, 9 April, 1897 – 13 January, 1898 | NicProv 005, Moravian Archives Bethlehem

Another project we have made significant progress on is the digitization of glass plate photographs such as lantern slides, a number of these have now been cataloged and digitized by interns from Moravian University[4]. Some examples of those lantern slides are seen below.

“A winter scene of Moravian College front campus, with Comenius Hall in the background,” 1925-1929 | PhotGP AS 02 075, Moravian Archives Bethlehem


“First Moravian Sunday School,” 1915 – 1924 | PhotGP CC 026, Moravian Archives Bethlehem

We are grateful for everyone’s interest in and support of our digitization efforts this past year and we look forward to continuing the important work in the forthcoming year and sharing the results with you.

[1] For an example of some of the items included in this project, see our earlier Digital Collection Spotlight, available here:
[2] Available here:
[3] For more about these materials please see our earlier Digital Collection Spotlight, available here:
[4] More about this can be read in a earlier Digital Collection Spotlight available here: