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Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Uncovering American History in the Moravian Church Archives
A register documenting the lives of African people enslaved in the Caribbean during the eighteenth century. Image courtesy of the Moravian Archives.

With collections of textiles, artworks, maps, administrative records, printed pamphlets, and personal papers, the Moravian Archives documents the history of the Moravian Church in North America as early as 1740. Cumulatively, the archives tell the story not only of the Moravian Church but also of the early American colonies. In recent years, the NEH has helped the Moravian Archives preserve this history. One grant provided for the purchase of storage furniture and materials, increasing the archives’ capacity by 62% and enabling the organization to store its collection of eighteenth-century American art. More recently, the NEH enabled the archives to plan for the preservation and digitization of the Eastern West Indies Records, which document two centuries of Moravian missionary work in the Caribbean.

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