Preparing For Your Scheduled Research Visit

Appointments are required for in-house researchers. You must submit the Researcher Appointment Request Form at least three business days in advance of your planned visit. This is to allow time for scheduling, to gather requested collection materials, and to best serve your research needs.

Our Reading Room is space for researchers of all backgrounds to interact with our collections and receive assistance from our Archival staff. The below policies are outlined to benefit our community and to allow you to make the most out of your visit.

Upon Arrival

You may use one of the lockers outside the reading room to store personal items. The only items allowed in the Reading Room are:

  • Cell phone (on silent)
  • Laptops or tablets (out of their cases)
  • Pencils
  • Non-professional photography equipment
  • Headphones and/or earbuds

We will provide you with pencils and paper if you would like to take notes. Food, drink, gum, candy, and ink pens are prohibited. All bags, including purses, backpacks, briefcases, laptop bags, etc., must be kept in your locker.

Care and Handling

During your first visit, you will receive a more detailed care and handling primer from Archives staff, and you will receive a refresher on subsequent visits. Below are some general guidelines. Please remember that nearly every item you touch during your research visit is the only one that exists in the world, and if something happens to it then it is lost forever. These care and handling rules are in place to prevent the loss of valuable information resources.

When handling documents and books, you must have dry, clean, hands; you must wear provided gloves when handling photographs, maps, and ephemera objects. There is a restroom located next to the Reading Room where you may wash your hands before your visit.

Do not write on materials or take notes on top of materials.

Please keep items with their original folders and boxes. Items should be requested and referenced according to their title and date, and their box and folder’s name and number.

Reprographic Services and Permissions

It is recommended that you review our policies on reprographic services and permissions in advance of your visit. Even if you do not plan on requesting copies or obtaining permission to publish, your plans may change in the course of your research.



The Moravian Archives of the Southern Province provides access to our holdings according to best practices and standards in the field library science. Our policy is based on Principles of Access to Archives published by the Committee on Best Practices and Standards Working Group on Access for the International Council on Archives.

The Moravian Archives holds records and papers with significant value for understanding social, economic, religious, community, and personal history, and providing public access helps protect rights and benefits public interests. Access helps maintain institutional transparency and credibility, improves public understanding of the Moravian Church, Southern Province’s unique history and its contributions to society, and helps the Moravian Church, Southern Province fulfill its social responsibility to share information for the public good.

The Moravian Archives provides the widest possible access to our holdings while recognizing and accepting the need for some restrictions. Restrictions on our holdings have been imposed by federal and state regulations, the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province, the Moravian Archives, and/or the donor of the material in the case of personal papers.

The Moravian Archives provides 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.

Agency and Congregational Board Minutes, Correspondence, and Personnel Records

Per the Book of Order for the Moravian Church in America, Southern Province (2018), (1) official minutes and correspondence for provincial and interprovincial agencies 70 years or younger may be consulted only by written permission of the chair of the relevant board or agency and (2) board minutes and correspondence for congregations 70 years or younger may be consulted only by written permission of the chair of the relevant board. The Archives does not provide access to personnel records of any age without written permission of the chair of the relevant board or agency. This written permission may be provided to the Archives by providing a signed letter or by copying the Archives on an email from the relevant chair of the board.

All other records for provincial and interprovincial agencies and congregational boards are subject to the general access policy of the Archives.

Audiovisual and Born Digital Material

Use copies have not been made for audiovisual and born digital material in our holdings. Researchers must contact the Moravian Archives Southern Province at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Archives’ ability to provide access to audiovisual material. You may request this access on our reprographic services page.