Last fall we saw the publication of With Courage for the Future, our massive 950-page four-pound history of the Moravian Church, Southern Province. With our eight years of work on With Courage now a memory, the Moravian Archives has turned to several other major projects.
Early this year assistant archivist Nicole Blum set to work on the project of removing maps from our old map chest, unrolling those that could be unrolled, placing them in acid-free folders, filing them in wide-drawer metal map chests, and inventorying each one.
Her project was made all the more challenging when Salem Congregation brought literally hundreds of maps to the Archives for safekeeping, so that on several occasions it seemed that the entire vault floor was taken up by tables loaded with maps.
A second project deals with some of our most frequently used records — the memoirs of our memoir collection. Taken together, our more than 12,000 memoirs are a unique treasure of information not only for genealogists but also for historians studying life in Salem and surrounding Wachovia dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Last March assistant archivist Richard Starbuck began the task of scanning each memoir into the computer so that the original can be “retired” to the vault and researchers can avail themselves of the electronic “copies” on the screen.
Archivist Daniel Crews has embarked on the most complex of our projects. Translations our Aeltesten Conferenz and Helfer Conferenz have left a few gaps in these precursors of the Provincial Elders Conference. His task is to bring together these earlier translations and fill in the gaps to form a complete translation of these highest boards of early Wachovia.
To bring them to completion, all three of these projects have called upon the financial support of our Friends of the Archives. When they are finished, we won’t have another With Courage for the Future, but the Archives will definitely be a research center where records are better kept and where they can be gotten to with ease.