German Script CourseAddress 41 West Locust Street, Bethlehem, PA, United States
Registration for the 2023 German Script course will open in August 2022.
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 past events or events after the last one displayed here, view the full calendar.
Registration for the 2023 German Script course will open in August 2022.
The Eighth Bethlehem Conference on Moravian History & Music will be held at Moravian University from August 16 - 20, 2023. More information can be found as it comes available […]
This exhibit will open this spring. More information to follow.
Registration for the 2024 will open on August 1, 2023
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 53rd year and is the longest-running course of its kind in the country. The course is taught by Dr. Paul Peucker and Thomas McCullough, experts and experienced instructors in reading and writing German script.
Former participants include hundreds of graduate students, university professors, genealogists, curators, librarians, archivists, 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. For example, the 2021 course included students from the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
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 mid-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 2023 course will be taught from Monday, June 5, until Friday, June 16.
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 $1,300.00 and includes the following instructional materials:
We require a deposit of $300.00 upon registration. Your registration becomes active after receipt of the deposit.
The deposit will be fully refunded towards cancellations prior to May 1, 2023. The deposit for the course is non-reimbursable for cancellations after May 1, 2023.
Housing costs are not included.
Please note that the registration for housing is separate from registration for the course.
Housing is available at Lehigh University’s Trembley Park apartment complex. These dormitories are located on the south side of Bethlehem, about 1.7 miles away from the Moravian Archives. Script students may walk, drive/carpool, or take a ride share to come to class each day.
Each apartment features three single bedrooms, a kitchen (with stove and refrigerator), a living room, and a bathroom. All units are air-conditioned. Though a kitchen is available, students will need to provide their own plates, cups, utensils, pots, pans, etc. if they are interested in utilizing the space. Click here for more information about the complex.
Housing at Lehigh University is $45.00 per student per night and bedrooms are limited to a single occupant. A linen bundle is available to “rent” for $30.00 for the length of your stay. The bundle includes sheets, blanket, pillow, pillowcase, towels, and washcloth. The University will not change or wash these linens during your stay but a laundry room is available.
For those bringing/renting a vehicle, parking is available for $8.00 per car per day. Vehicles must be registered with Lehigh University prior to arrival.
If you are interested in housing at Lehigh University, please contact Kelly Givens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610.866.3255.
Housing at the Hotel Bethlehem (North Side Bethlehem)
If students are interested in staying in Historic Downtown Bethlehem, standard hotel rooms are available at the Hotel Bethlehem. A block of rooms has been set aside for German Script students at a rate of $175.00/night. The hotel is located 0.8 miles away from the archives. Breakfast/meals and parking are available on premise for additional fees. Click here for more information about the hotel.
If you are interested in staying at the Hotel Bethlehem, please contact the hotel directly and note the Moravian Archives German Script block of rooms when booking your stay.
There are also various other hotels, airbnb’s, and guest houses in the Bethlehem area.
Registration for housing is separate, see above.
To register, complete the form below. You can pay your deposit of $300 (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 email@example.com for more information or to schedule a workshop.
We record many of our events: lectures, presentations, and classes. When possible, we will make these recordings available here. The recordings are listed in chronological order, from most recent to the oldest. C
Can’t find the lecture you are looking for? All past MAB recorded lectures are always available on our Youtube Channel.
Please note that it usually takes a few days before a recording becomes available.
Lecture by Dr. Scott Paul Gordon, Lehigh University, Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Lecture by Rev. Dr. Craig Atwood, Moravian Theological Seminary
Presentation by Alice Smith Duncan Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Presentation by Mark David Turner. June 22, 2021