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Events & Programs

The Moravian Archives offers a wide variety of lectures, classes, workshops, and other events.

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Upcoming 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.

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Coming up: Zinzendorf in America

Zinzendorf in America

Count Zinzendorf, founder, and leader of the renewed Moravian Church visited America from December 1741 until January 1743. During this time, he visited colonists throughout eastern Pennsylvania, preached wherever he had an opportunity, conducted synods, traveled among the American Indians, and organized Moravian congregations in places such as Bethlehem, Philadelphia, and Nazareth. In January of 1743, he and his travel company sailed back to England.
Zinzendorf hoped to eventually return to America and live in Nazareth where a large residence was built for him. However, he never came back. Zinzendorf died in Herrnhut on May 9, 1760, less than three weeks before his 60th birthday.

This exhibit shows the traces left by Zinzendorf in America: objects that remind us of his visit to Pennsylvania, items passed down within his family, and artifacts acquired by the Moravian Archives. Many of Ludwig and Erdmuth von Zinzendorf’s descendants live in the United States. Some of the artifacts that were preserved in the family have been given to the Moravian Archives, such as Zinzendorf’s personal Bible, their table silver, or—most recently—a portrait of the count. Over the years, the Moravian Archives has been able to purchase items relating to the Zinzendorfs and add these to the collections. During the 1980s, an oil painting depicting scenes from Zinzendorf’s grand tour of Europe (1719-21) was purchased in London. Last September, a portrait of their oldest son, Christian Renatus (1727-54) was bought at an auction in Berlin. This painting (see article on p. XX) will be shown for the first time in this exhibit. Graphic designer Heather Reinert created a spectacular map showing the places in America Zinzendorf visited during this visit.

The exhibit is open free of charge during the regular hours of the Moravian Archives. Due to COVID-related precautions visitors are asked to call ahead to reserve a time slot for their visit (max. 4 people). Visitors are required to wear a mask.

This exhibition was made possible with the kind support of the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, New York.






Those who were unable to attend out Virtual Exhibit Opening hosted via ZOOM on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, are able to view select features through our YouTube Channel.

 Dr. Katherine Faull Lecture: “Moravians in America: Herrnhut’s First Ambassadors”

To view a PowerPoint of select items featured in “Zinzendorf in America”


German Script Course

July 26 - August 6, 2021

Registration is limited to 15 participants. (As of September 30, 2020, eleven registrations for the 2021 course have been received)

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 51st 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.

Study Method

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.

Time & Place

The 2021 course will be taught from Monday, July 26, until Friday, August 6.

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.

Course Fee

The fee for the script course is $850.00 and includes the following instructional materials:

  • Color reproductions of German texts
  • Handouts
  • Writing pads
  • Binder for storing instructional material
  • Quills
  • Textbook: Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents by Roger P. Minert, 2nd ed. (Woods Cross, Utah 2013)
  • Coffee, tea during breaks

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 July 1, 2021. The deposit for the course is non-reimbursable for cancellations after July 1, 2021.

Housing costs are not included.


There are various hotels, airbnb’s, and guest houses in the Bethlehem area. All German Script attendees are usually eligible for housing at Moravian College. At this point, because of the uncertain situation regarding Covid-19, Moravian College is not able to confirm if housing is available.

We will keep update this page as information comes available; registered participants will receive updated information regarding housing. We will also try to find alternative housing.

The following is the information provided for the 2020 course:

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.


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:

Moravian Archives
41 W. Locust St.
Bethlehem PA 18018-2757.

Make checks payable to Moravian Archives.

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School Programs

Middle & High School

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:

Foreign language
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.

Library science
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 tom@moravianchurcharchives.org for more information or to schedule a workshop.