Mission, Vision, and Values
The Moravian Archives is the official repository of and serves as the institutional memory for the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province. It serves the Church, its members, and the public by fostering curiosity and discovery through access, preservation, and education.
The Archives’ mission is to ethically steward records and historical materials of Moravians and provide equitable public access to its holdings. This mission is fulfilled by:
- Appraising, transferring, stabilizing, and documenting archival acquisitions;
- Offering a range of research and reference services to the public;
- Establishing policy and providing expert guidance on record-keeping practices;
- Creating and promoting products and services that broaden understanding of the history and culture of the Moravians in the Southern Province;
- Providing professional archival and preservation expertise across the Province and to the public;
- Providing adequate facilities for the retention, preservation, servicing, and research of our holdings;
- Being ethical stewards of the archival materials in our care and the history and people those materials reflect.
The historical records of the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province, belong to the people and descendants of the Moravian Church in the Southern United States, especially in and around Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They are among the state’s most important historical and cultural resources and must be properly preserved and made available to the public. Access to the Archives allows both Moravians and the local communities where they have been prominent to know of and benefit from the information found in these records. These unique and irreplaceable records are essential to understanding the history of the Moravians in North America.
Bishop Clarence H. Shawe described in a lecture series delivered at the Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1977, the Spirit of the Moravian Church as having five characteristics. Those five characteristics have been transformed into the values held by the Moravian Archives:
Simplicity: We value genuineness, practicality, and transparency in our descriptive practices and access policies. We hold a commitment to professional standards and ethics and a holistic approach to stewardship of collections and quality service to our users. If our only achievement is preserving our holdings and making them accessible to the public, we will have achieved our primary goals.
Happiness: We value the joy and pleasure that archival research and education can grant a community, especially those who have been historically marginalized. We want users of our collections to see themselves reflected and add new meaning to their lives. We seek and create new knowledge and understanding and foster creativity and innovation for the benefit of all.
Unintrusiveness: We value openness, fairness, collaboration, and stakeholder input in operations are driven by accurate and reliable data made available to the Moravian Archives Commission and the Provincial Elders Conference.
Fellowship: We value equitable public access and provide all users with just, fair, and timely access to archives without discrimination. When restrictions have been imposed, those restrictions apply to everyone on the same terms. When restrictions have been lifted, the restrictions are lifted for everyone. We want to create a welcoming environment for everyone.
Service: The Moravian Archives is, at its core, an agency of the Southern Province and, therefore, a faithful servant to its congregations and affiliates. We strive to be a resource for all Moravians and a collaborative partner with other Moravian affiliated organizations, both within and outside of those reporting through the Province.