MMI’s German language students, under the guidance of instructor Gabriela Moustardas, recently traveled to the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, where they learned about the history of the Moravian founders of Bethlehem.
The Moravians are a German-Protestant sect that dates back to the 15th century. They came to the United States in the 18th century as missionaries. A small group of Moravians founded Bethlehem in 1741 and went on to contribute a great amount to the regional culture of the city.
The Moravian Archives is the official repository for the records of the Moravian Church in America – Northern Province, which covers much of the Moravian churches in the United States and Canada. The facility contains approximately 8,000 linear feet of material. This material includes records documenting the history of the Moravian church and especially of the Moravian church in North America beginning in 1740. The Moravian Archives currently houses almost 4,000 linear feet of archival records and over 20,000 printed volumes and pamphlets in its library. In addition, there are oil paintings, maps, drawings, prints, photographs, and artifacts, as well as selected personal papers.
During their time at the Moravian Archives, the students participated in a workshop where they learned to read and write Old German Script and practiced writing with quills.
Following their visit to the Moravian Archives, the group visited the Christkindlmarkt, an adaptation of an important German Christmas tradition.