Because of COVID-19 the Moravian Archives is closed to the public (incl. volunteers, interns, and researchers) until further notice. Learn More
We will be closed to the public (including researchers, volunteers, and interns) starting Monday, March 16 until further notice.
Staff will be working from home presumably until the end of April 2020. You can reach us by email.
The Moravian Archives offers a wide variety of lectures, classes, workshops, and other events.
The Moravian Archives offers a wide variety of lectures, classes, workshops, and other events. For events after the last one displayed here, view the full calendar.
The Moravian Archives is open select Saturdays during the year. to schedule your visit please visit our our “Plan Your Visit section”Find out more »
The Moravian Archives, Bethlehem is hosting the Annual German Script Course for the 50th time! For more information about our annual German Script Course or to register please visit the "German Script Course" section of our events page.Find out more »
The reading room is closed for researchers during the Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History & MusicFind out more »
The dates for the Seventh Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History & Music have been set. More information will follow.Find out more »
Registration is limited to 15 participants. The 2020 course is full; you can still register but you will be placed on a waiting list. Registration for the 2021 course will begin in June 2020.
We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. This year’s German script course is still on. We will keep the registered participants informed about any developments.
You may also sign up for email notifications regarding future German Script programs at the Moravian Archives (see link at bottom of the page: “Join Our Newsletter”).
This intensive course on learning to read German script is now in its 50th year and is the longest-running course of its kind in the country. The course is taught by Dr. Paul Peucker, Lanie Yaswinski, and Thomas McCullough, experts and experienced instructors in reading and writing German script.
Former participants include hundreds of graduate students, professors, genealogists, curators, archivists, musicologists, and hobbyists from various backgrounds. They represent such academic fields as history and German, American studies, musicology, religion, anthropology, art history, sociology, genealogy, technology and other subjects. The 2019 course included students from the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Bulgaria, and Brazil.
After two weeks of intensive studying, practicing, and reading and writing participants will be able to read German manuscripts dating from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. The course includes many texts selected from the extensive holdings of the Moravian Archives. We will also spend considerable time learning to write German Kurrent script, based on contemporary teaching methods.
The goal of this course is not to learn the German language or to study Moravian history but to read the German script; however, we offer a learning experience that takes advantage of the historical setting of the Bethlehem community. Texts are chosen to illustrate the early history of Bethlehem and the work of the Moravians within their context.
By touring the historic districts of Bethlehem and nearby Nazareth, participants will experience the setting in which the events from the study material took place. We are convinced that captivating texts prove helpful in overcoming initial difficulties with German script.
The first sessions are devoted to writing the individual script letters and words. Though not the intent of this seminar, learning to write texts in German script helps in recognizing how the individual letters are written. During the morning sessions texts are read within the group with everyone taking turns deciphering the texts. During the second week, we will discuss a writing method that was used by teachers in Bethlehem during the eighteenth-century.
Registration is limited to fifteen students.
There are no organized classes during the afternoons. This time is devoted to preparing for the next day’s lessons; most students choose to do their “homework” in groups. Thus the course combines classroom learning, group study and individual preparation. The preparation time in the afternoon will take circa four hours. It is not recommended to plan other activities during the course.
Upon successful completion of the course each student will be presented with a certificate of participation.
In order to successfully follow the course a good reading ability of modern German is needed; two years of college German or the equivalent has proven to be a minimum. Conversational German ability is not required and prior knowledge of German script is not necessary. All instruction is conducted in English, but we advise students to bring along a quality German-English dictionary.
The 2020 course will be taught from Monday, June 1, until Friday, June 12.
Classes begin each day at 9:00 am and last until 12:30 pm. There are no classes on the weekend.
Classes are held in the reading room of the Moravian Archives, located at 41 W. Locust Street, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. During the course of the seminar the reading room will be closed to all other researchers. The Archives is located on the north campus of Moravian College.
The fee for the script course is $850.00 and includes the following instructional materials:
We require a deposit of $100.00 upon registration. Your registration becomes active after receipt of the deposit.
The deposit will be fully refunded towards cancellations prior to May 1, 2020. For cancellations made between May 1 and May 21, 2020, we will return $50.00 of the deposit. The deposit for the course is non-reimbursable for cancellations after May 21, 2020.
Housing costs are not included.
There are various hotels, airbnb’s, and guest houses in the Bethlehem area. All German Script attendees are eligible for housing at Moravian College.
The housing registration period is April 1-May 1. Please note that the registration for housing is separate from registration for the course. To register for campus housing please complete this form.
Moravian College accommodations include: a single room in an air-conditioned 5-person townhouse within walking distance of the Moravian Archives and include small efficiency kitchens, access to laundry, cable, wireless, and linens. Guests are encouraged to provide their own toiletries and cooking utensils. The weekly rate for housing is $170 a person; or $65/week plus $15/night lodging rates.
For specific questions contact Suzanne Moyer at the Office of Housing & Event Management after April 1 at email@example.com, 610-861-1418
Registration for housing is separate, see above.
To register, complete the form below. You can pay your deposit of $100 (or the entire course fee) during the submission process. If you’d rather send a check, you may send it to:
41 W. Locust St.
Bethlehem PA 18018-2757.
Make checks payable to Moravian Archives.
The Moravian Archives brings history to life!
The Moravian Archives is pleased to offer presentations here or at your school given by Thomas McCullough, Assistant Archivist, which can be tailored in length and content to suit your students. Mr. McCullough has been teaching workshops in the community since 2015.
The Moravian Archives looks forward to working with local schools in an effort to educate students by illuminating history, the significance of libraries and archives, and the study of languages. We would be happy to modify our program to incorporate information pertaining to your curriculum or the history of your local community, and we welcome any suggestions or comments. The presentations typically focus on Moravians as a Bethlehem community, not a religion.
Teachers can choose from the following topics:
Through a fun deciphering exercise, students will learn that early Moravian records were written in German script—not only a foreign language, but also a handwriting different from what we use today.
Students will learn what an archives is and the similarities and differences between an archives and a library. They will learn about the Archives’ collections, who uses the facility and how materials are stored.
Contact Mr. McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to schedule a workshop.