Dates from 1753, making it one of the oldest archives in North America, older than any state archives as well as the United States Archives;
Houses more than a million pages of handwritten documents representing the total community, not simply church or religious records (collections include the records of industrial, commercial, civic, ecclesiastical, educational, medical, and musical institutions as well as personal diaries and correspondence, ethnographic materials, prints, broadsides, photographs, and maps);
Maintains a Research Library of 1,600 titles, many from the 18th century;
Serves more than 470 users per year;
Answers approximately 110 genealogical inquiries annually, more than half requiring substantial research;
Provides ongoing research guidance of various graduate degree studies, having fostered numerous doctoral dissertations and masters theses over the years;
Publishes books, monographs, and periodicals;
Operates on a budget supported 100% by the Moravian Church, Southern Province, Salem Congregation, our Friends of the Archives (see our Friends page), and grants.
This Day In History
1768 Trombones are used for the first time to announce a death in Wachovia, the little son of George Schmid.
1770 Salem’s God’s Acre is laid out.
1773 Since God’s Acre is for its members, Salem designates a “parish” graveyard south of town for “strangers.” It is to be “as decently kept as our own God’s Acre above Salem.”
1783 In accordance with a proclamation issued by Governor Alexander Martin, all six Moravian settlements in Wachovia — Bethabara, Bethania, Salem, Friedberg, Friedland, and Hope — observe a "Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God" for the restoration of peace. It is the first official observance of the Fourth of July following the American Revolution.
1829 To celebrate Independence Day, Salem’s singers and musicians perform Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation. It is one of the earliest performances of the massive work in the United States.
1831 Salem’s newly formed militia parades to martial music.
1865 Salem celebrates the day with ringing of bells, firing of cannon, and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Union troops have been occupying the town. They will leave 13 July, and Salem will not celebrate a Fourth of July for another 11 years.
1937 Hopewell’s new brick church is dedicated.
457 S. Church Street
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27101