Our History, Governing Commission, and Staff

The Archives House, 1948

Eleven 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 over 3,000 linear feet (the equivalence of 3,000 standard bankers boxes) of records and personal papers. The collections, including a significant portion written in manuscript German, document 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 150 genealogical inquires annually and provide resources and reference services to students in K-12, seminary, and undergraduate and graduate degree studies. We have fostered numerous doctoral dissertations and masters theses. We have also published our own books and monographs on the history of the Church community.

Archivist C. Daniel Crews and Moravian Music Foundation Director Nola Reed Knouse inspecting the acquisition of a 1615 Unity of the Brethren Czech hymnal, one of only three known copies in the United States

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 2017-2020
Meaghan O’Riordan 2022-present

Archives Commission
The Commission, with half of its members appointed by the Southern Province’s Provincial Elders Conference and half by the Salem Congregation churches, meets regularly. 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.

Frank Crouch, Central
Heather Fearnbach, Home
John Jackman, Trinity (chair)
Paul Knouse, Home
Karl Kapp, Home
Keith Kapp, Raleigh
Neil Routh, Grace

Cindy Lamb

back to top