Ten individuals have served as official Archivist for the Southern Province, beginning with Adelaide L. Fries in 1911. The position was an unpaid post, funded for expenses only, until 1985. Archive materials were kept in a Liberty Street warehouse in the early twentieth century until being moved to the former Vorsteher’s House at Bank and Main Streets in 1942. In 2001 the Archives moved into its present home in the Archie K. Davis Center.
Our Archives stores items dating from 1753 and was first mentioned in Church records in 1762. It houses an estimated one million pages of documents. Those documents, including over 15,000 pages in manuscript German, catalog not just the Church and religious life, but reflect the total community in which the Church took root in Piedmont North Carolina. Our collections include the records of industrial, commercial, civic, ecclesiastical, educational, medical, and musical institutions. We also preserve personal diaries and correspondence, ethnographic materials, prints, broadsides, photographs, and maps. We maintain a research library of 1,600 titles, many from the eighteenth century.
The Archives serves, on site and remotely, more than 500 users a year. We assist in over one hundred genealogical inquires annually, and provide research guidance to various academic and graduate degree studies. We have fostered numerous doctoral dissertations and masters theses over the years. We also publish our own books and monographs on the history of the Church community.
Adelaide L. Fries 1911-1949
Douglas L. Rights 1949-1956
Edwin A. Sawyer 1957-1957
Grace L. Siewers 1957-1966
Geraldine B. Eggleston 1966-1970
Mary Creech 1970-1984
Thomas J. Haupert 1985-1991
C. Daniel Crews 1991-2014
Richard W. Starbuck 2014-2017
J. Eric Elliott 2018-
The Commission, with half of its members appointed by the Southern Province’s Provincial Elders Conference and half by the Salem Congregation of churches, meets quarterly. Its members are from local Moravian Churches. Its responsibilities include developing and following bylaws such that the mission of the Archives, the acquisition and preservation of church records, is fulfilled; and ensuring sufficient resources to meet this constitutional mandate.
Mike Sloan, Chair, New Philadelphia Moravian
Toni Bigham, New Philadelphia Moravian
Scott Brent, Friedland Moravian
Peggy Carter, Fries Memorial
Heather Fearnbach, Home Moravian
Michael Gwyn, Ardmore Moravian
John Larson, Home Moravian
Pat Nelson, Ardmore Moravian
Kirk Sanders, Home Moravian
Rev. Scott Venable, Fairview Moravian Church
J. Eric Elliott, Archivist
A writer and historian who has made use of our holdings in his book about Winston-Salem’s Historic West End and in a lobby display on the Fries family at Historic Brookstown Inn, Eric was a Morehead Scholar at Chapel Hill, graduating with a B.A. with highest honors in European History. Eric received an M.A. in History and Sociology of Science in grad school at the University of Pennsylvania and was a DAAD Stipendiat during doctoral research at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. He completed his law degree, begun at Chapel Hill, at Villanova University. A twenty-three year resident of Winston-Salem and long-time Sunday School teacher at Centenary United Methodist, Eric looks forward to helping preserve, grow, and share our great church and community resource. A native of Charlotte and Gastonia, North Carolina, Eric has two sons, linguist John and civil engineer Zach.
Nicole Crabbe, Assistant Archivist
Nicole Wheeler Crabbe, Assistant Archivist, is a native of Winston-Salem and lifelong member of Hope Moravian. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill, majoring in Anthropology and History, she began work at the Archives in June 1999. Nicole does a little bit of everything including processing Archival material, assisting researchers, “On This Day” Facebook posts, researching inquiries, and day-day-to operations. Outside of the Archives Nicole is active at church, serving on the board, several committees, and singing in the choir. Nicole lives in Winston-Salem with her husband Kip and children Macy and Cooper.
Richard Starbuck, Editor, Records of the Moravians Among the Cherokees
Richard W. Starbuck brings unique talents to Records of the Moravians among the Cherokees. Born and raised in the Moravian Church, he received a bachelor of arts degree from Williams College and worked for 12 years as writer and editor at the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel newspapers. In 1986 he joined the Moravian Archives, where he has been instrumental in editing numerous works for publication in print and on the Internet. With Archivist C. Daniel Crews he is co-author of With Courage for the Future: The Story of the Moravian Church, Southern Province. Starbuck also served briefly as appointed Archivist of the Moravian Church, Southern Province, before “retiring” in 2017 to continue editing Records: Cherokees.