Worldwide Moravian Church
Moravian Archives Herrnhut (Unitätsarchiv)
Zittauer Straße 24,
02747 Herrnhut, Deutschland
The Unity Archives is the official repository for the core institutions of the worldwide Moravian Church and for the administration of the European Continental Province. The Unity Archives was founded by the first general synod of the Moravian Church in 1764 following the death of Count Zinzendorf (d. 1760) and was first managed in Zeist, Netherlands.
Since 1820 the Archives has been managed in Herrnhut, Germany. In 1890 a building specifically intended for use by archives was constructed. This original wing of the Archives complex remains the first archival repository constructed in Saxony, Germany, and is protected on the historic register. The preexisting facility was renovated in 1998, and a reading room was installed. A distinctive addition was erected from 2000-2002, resulting in a three-story archival storage facility with compact shelving.
In conjunction with the mission of the Unity Archives, every province, as well as individual congregations and institutions within the European Continental Province, are expected to maintain their own archives.
The Archives´ holdings consist of a variety of manuscripts and printed books, as well as museum objects (see overview of record groups – Beständeübersicht). Among many collections, the archives contains the Zinzendorf family papers, records from the main institutions of the worldwide Moravian Church, records of the European Continental Province, records of inactive congregations, school records, records of mission work, records of Moravian businesses, musical manuscripts, personal papers from workers and members of the Moravian Church, and Lebensläufe (Moravian memoirs).
The archives library serves to collect the publications of the Moravian Church and its members, as well as all publications dealing with the Moravian Church. The oldest books were owned by Count Zinzendorf and other workers of the church during the 18th century. In addition, special collections include the Bible collection, hymnbooks, daily texts (watchwords), and texts regarding the Ancient Unity.
The Unity Archives also houses the following museum collections, among others: paintings, portraits, drawings and prints, silhouettes, topographical materials, photographs, and historical artifacts from the Moravian Church and its missions.
Opening Hours: The Unity Archives is open from Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Open Mondays by appointment only.
Archive of the Moravian Church, British Province
Moravian Church House
5 Muswell Hill
Over the last two hundred and sixty years the British Province of the Moravian Church has accumulated a considerable archival collection, consisting of approximately four hundred boxes of material, as well as a library of around 3800 printed books, which is now housed in Moravian Church House, Muswell Hill, London.
The archival material consists of: records relating to certain congregations, particularly those that are no longer active; mission records, including material relating to the Society for the Furtherance of the Gospel (SFG); Synod minutes and resolutions, and records of the administrative bodies of the Province, the Moravian Union and Unitas Estates. The library contains printed books relating to the history of the Church, both in Britain and abroad, biographies, Moravian hymn and tune books and theology. There are also a number of periodicals published by Provinces from all over the world.
Entry to use the archive is free, although an appointment should be made in advance with the archivist at the address below, by either telephone, fax or e-mail.
Moravian Archives, Northern Province of the Moravian Church in North America
41 W. Locust Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
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.
The Bethlehem Moravian Archives also holds records from the Moravian Church in Alaska, Labrador, Nicaragua and the Eastern West Indies (note: for records from Jamaica, see towards the bottom of this webpage).
The Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is a major special collection of the Moravian Church, Northern Province. The Archives is located in a modern 9,200 square foot building with two climate-controlled vaults. Both vaults are equipped with a fire suppression system. The Moravian Archives contains approximately 8,000 linear feet of material.
These records document the history of the Moravian Church and especially of the Moravian Church in North America beginning in 1740. Our holdings include records of the church’s administration as well as of many congregations. Many of the early records are written in 18th-century German script, but there are large amounts of documents in English as well. Currently, we have almost 4,000 linear feet of archival records and over 20,000 printed volumes and pamphlets in our library. In addition, there are oil paintings, maps, drawings, prints, photographs, artifacts, as well as selected personal papers.
Many of our paintings are on display in the gallery. The Archives has begun to make the catalogs available on the internet. It is only the beginning, so contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for.
Researchers can study our holdings in the reading room. Use of the Archives in the reading room is free, but we charge for special services such as reproductions or doing research for people who cannot come to the Archives. Please make an appointment for your visit to the Archives.
Moravian Archives, Southern Province of the Moravian Church in North America
457 S. Church Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
The Moravian Archives is the repository of the records of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, and its members. As such, the Moravian Archives’ primary function is to serve the Church in the collecting, cataloging, and safekeeping of its records. Our records extend back to 1753, the beginning of the Moravian Church in North Carolina, and give a detailed account of life in earlier times as well as family histories of church members. This web site is fully supported by Friends of Moravian Archives. You too can be a Friend with your generous contribution.
Many of our church diaries and other documents have been translated and published in Records of the Moravians in North Carolina. Each of the thirteen volumes is indexed for family names. Currently the first eleven volumes of Records of the Moravians in North Carolina are out of print, but copies may be available at a nearby university library, or perhaps a local public library can borrow them on an inter-library loan basis from the State Library in Raleigh. Consult your local public library.
Canadian Moravian Historical Society
Edmonton, Alberta, T6L 4K9
Moravian Church Archive, Czech Province
Archiv Jednoty bratrské (Moravian Church Archive, Czech Province) is located in the office of the Provincial Board in Liberec, Czech Republic. Its library and archive are open to the public for research and managed by archivist Lydie Halamová.
Archiv Jednoty bratrské
Boženy Němcové 54/9
460 05 Liberec V
Additional records documenting the Unitas Fratrum, 1437-1589, are preserved at the Czech National Archives (Národní archiv) in Prague, Czech Republic. More information about this record group, “Akta Jednoty bratrské | Acta unitatis fratrum,” including digital reproduction images, is available at http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/1014/.
Also, information about the archive of Matthew Konečný, which contains records of the Unitas Fratrum in Mladá Boleslav, 1600-1620, is available through the Muzeum Mladoboleslavska at http://www.badatelna.eu/fond/165867/ and in the English language at http://matouskonecny.jbcr.cz/en.
Moravian Archives, Paramaribo, Suriname
For inquiries about Moravian records in Suriname, contact information is displayed below.
Attn.: Archiefmanager EBGS
Burenstraat 17-19, Paramaribo
See, also, a database of early members (Lidmaten), 1779-1828, of the Moravian Church in Suriname, made available by the Dutch Nationaal Archief in Den Haag: http://www.gahetna.nl/collectie/index/nt00226.
Additional records relating to the Moravian Church in Suriname are deposited at the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem. A finding aid (inventory) of these materials, “The Suriname Papers (MissSur),” is available in the Bethlehem online catalog.
Moravian Church Archives, South Africa
Moravian Theological Centre
Corner Duinefontein & Ascension Road
Heideveld, 7764, Western Cape
The Moravian Archives collects Moravian Church records irrespective of physical form that support the history of the Moravian Church in South Africa.
The collection includes manuscripts, theses, publications, periodicals, cartographic and photographic material, microform, video and audio records. The records include some personal but mostly official church documents such as diaries, biographies and correspondence within the Church and outside with ecclesiastical bodies and South African government departments since 1737.
The Moravian Archives has a vast collection which covers the so called “mission” period, 1737-1948 in South Africa and around the world. This also includes the slavery period although not always explicitly recorded as such. Unfortunately the Moravian Archives is lagging behind with oral histories although allegedly many oral history recordings were considered valueless and were disposed of without authority.
Moravian missionaries left well-kept, up-to-date diaries, paintings and sketches, correspondence and up-to-date financial records. The registers of which the baptism registers are most frequently consulted and which 80% are now in microform. During the 1990s it was discovered that the only complete collection of the Moravian Periodical Account (1785-1965) are in custody of the Library of the University of the Witwatersrand. Without any authorization, an unknown person gave records of the Moravian Church in the Eastern Cape, called the “Baziya Collection,” to the University of Umtata.
Rungwe Archive and Museum Center (RAMC), Moravian Church Southern Province, Tanzania
Rungwe Archive and Museum Centre (RAMC)
P.O. Box 32
+255 68 370 77 55
In the archive a big collection of historically important documents could be retrieved and safely disposed for a enduring conservation. Discover the huge correspondences of the missionaries since the early days of their work by studying the documents in German, Danish, English, Kinyakyusa or Kiswahili. Such a journey may take you to many interesting places of the mission’s and church’s history like the first ordination of a tanzanian pastor 1932, the internment of the german missionaries as war prisoners 1940, the internationalisation of the missionaries’ community after the second world war and the collaborations and upheavals in the African Moravian Church during its long way to independence at the end of the 1960’s.
The objects in the exhibition tell us about aspects of traditional daily life: medicinal practice, traditional dance, hunting and fashion of the peoples from these areas, mainly Nyakyusa and Ndali. A choice of historical photographs from the archive’s collection illustrates the aspects of cultural inheritance by showing them in their context. These precious documents also tell of the encounter of the Moravian Missionaries with the locals, illustrating a world about to change.
The exhibition further introduces the visitor to the history of the Moravian Church in Southern Tanzania, telling about the arrival of the first missionaries in Rungwe, the spread of their work in the region, and the development of the church up to these days.
Groups are welcome. Please contact us to make an appointment and to let us prepare for your arrival.
There is no entry free for Tanzanians; tourists pay Tsh 5000 (Tanzanian Shillings).
Moravian Archives, Alaska Province
For information about records contact the Alaska Province Office at:
Alaska Moravian Church
PO Box 545, Bethel, AK 99559
Moravian Music Foundation (2 locations)
Archie K. Davis Center
457 South Church St
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Phone: (336) 725-0651
Fax: (336) 725-4514
41 W. Locust St
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Phone: (610) 866-3340
Fax: (610) 866-9210
The Moravian Music Foundation preserves, celebrates, and cultivates the musical life of the Moravians. The foundation was founded and chartered in North Carolina in 1956, by a group of clergy and laity of the Moravian Church, to preserve, study, edit and publish the music retained in the Archives of the Moravian Church in America, Northern and Southern Provinces.
The rediscovery of this music forms a vital link in the history of American music and culture. Since its establishment, MMF has acquired thousands of additional items, including the Irving Lowens Collection of early American tunebooks; the band books of the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band, and the entire collection of the works of North Carolina composers Charles G. Vardell and Margaret Vardell Sandresky, and North Carolina-born composer Charles Fussell. MMF is custodian of the George Hamilton IV collection.
The MMF is custodian of some 10,000 manuscripts and early imprints, which comprise music both by Moravian and non-Moravian composers; sacred and secular; American and European; vocal and instrumental. Approximately one-third of this collection is housed at the Foundation headquarters in Winston-Salem, NC; the remainder resides in the Moravian Archives, Northern Province in Bethlehem, PA.
The Moravian Music Foundation, an independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit institution, preserves the music, preparing modern editions for publication and performance, and generally making it available for performers, churches, researchers, and scholars worldwide, as well as to encourage contemporary composition. MMF edits and publishes to encourage and facilitate the use of Moravian music (old and new) in worship, as well as chamber and concert settings.
MMF coordinates performances of Moravian music with many churches and ensembles, and has a special relationship with the Moramus Chorale in Winston-Salem, NC and the Unitas Chorale in Bethlehem, PA.
Over 500 musical works have been edited for modern-day performance and an estimated two million copies are in circulation worldwide. MMF self-publishes instrumental music and has published over 55 anthems, both new compositions and edited from the archives, in its Moravian Star Anthem series. Some 40 orchestral works have been edited and placed in the Fleisher Collection of the Philadelphia Free Library, thus becoming available to orchestras nationwide.
MMF manages an extensive Lending Library of choral and instrumental music, with several hundred loans per year; the vast majority of these are loans to churches and schools not affiliated with the Moravian Church.
MMF has an extensive music reference library and sells modern sheet music editions of anthems, instrumental music, band books, as well as books about Moravian music. Many recordings of Moravian music have been produced and released by MMF, or by partners of MMF, and are available for sale at the Winston-Salem and Bethlehem offices.Since its inception, hundreds of scholars have used MMF’s resources, including the archival collections of manuscripts, printed music, and books, and the 6000-volume research library, producing many scholarly editions articles, and dissertations. MMF’s resources are open to scholars and students world-wide.
Aleknagik and Dillingham Moravian Church Records are located at:
Dillingham Moravian Church
PO Box 1350, Dillingham, AK 99576
Bad Boll Moravian Church Archives
Herrnhuter Weg 6
73087 Bad Boll
Telephone: 07164 – 912 55-20
Kleinwelka Moravian Church Archives
Kirchenrechneramt und Archiv
Frau Elke Pucher-Katona
Fax : 035935/20490
Königsfeld Moravian Church Archives
Evangelische Gesamtgemeinde Königsfeld
78126 Königsfeld im Schwarzwald
Telephone: 07725/93 82-0
Fax: 07725/93 82-22
Genadendal Mission Museum
Moravian Church Square
+27 28 251 8582
Lititz Moravian Church Square Archives & Museum
2 Church Square
Lititz, PA 17543
Moravian Historical Society
214 E. Center St.
Nazareth, PA 18064
Telephone: +49 351 49144261
National / Government Archives
The Jamaica Archives & Records Department
Records of the Moravian Church: The Moravian Church, whose history in Jamaica began in 1754 with the arrival of three German missionaries, established its own church archives in 1957 at the Bethlehem Teachers’ College, but later deposited the collection at the Jamaica Archives in 1974. The records are divided into five categories, namely, Records of the Provincial Elders Conference, Congregation Registers and Diaries, Records of the Bethlehem Teachers’ College, Family Deposits, and Photographs and Publications. The collection also includes baptismal, marriage and burial records, the earliest dated 1824.
For further information about archival materials from the Moravian Church in Jamaica, which are housed at the national archives in Jamaica, please contact:
The Jamaica Archives & Records Department
Corner of King & Manchester Streets
Telephone: (876) 984-2581
The following organization can also assist with your genealogical research:
The Registrar General’s Department Island Record Office
Telephone: (876) 984-3041-5