Mission: Established in 1857, the moravian historical society is the third oldest historical society in the state of pennsylvania. We offer a variety of events for all ages and interest levels that help connect the rich history of the moravians with the public. Members and non-members are invited to join us for exhibit openings, youth and adult programs, benefit events, and fundraisers.
Programs: The 1740/1743 whitefield house features a museum and a bookstore and gift shop. Our museum includes both a large permanent exhibition gallery and a smaller changing exhibition space. Our permanent exhibition features our outstanding collection of objects connected to the expansion of the moravian community through missionary service throughout the world, the establishment of 18th century settlements in pennsylvania and north carolina, and the importance of music, art, technology, and education to moravian culture. Our temporary exhibit contained objects connected to moravians during the american civil war. All of these objects were collected by moravians at home and abroad since the 18th century. We hold several events throughout the year. On april 4, 2014 we held our annual share the heritage dinner and auction. This is a fundraising dinner held every year that helps to support our future museum and programming efforts while connecting guests with particular areas of moravian history. Our 2014 share the heritage dinner featured objects and entertainment celebrating the history of moravian mission work in africa. Our 36th annual arts and crafts festival was held on june 7, 2014 and featured between 75-100 local artisans and vendors. This event is attended by hundreds of people from the region that come for the diverse vendors, great food, free kids' activities, and live entertainment. We also offer free admission to our museum on sundays during the summer months as part of our free summer sundays program which encourages the public to see our museum. We also participate in blue star museum program which offers free admission to u. S. Military members and their families. 2014 was the inaugural year for our annual hands-on history summer camp held from june 23-27. This camp offers kids ages 8-13 a unique opportunity to connect with the history of moravians in colonial america with a week of exciting activities. These activities are led by local scholars, professionals, and academics and the campers interact with them directly to discover the history of moravians in america and to understand the opportunities for a career in history. Each year we also host christmas in nazareth which is a family friendly community event that offers kids' christmas activities and tours of the historic 1740/1743 whitefield house and the 1740 gray cottage; the oldest existing moravian structure in the us. We prioritize publishing academic research on moravian history and casual updates on our organization for the public. Readers enjoy the annual journal of moravian history which features articles, book reviews, and translations of original source material related to moravian history. We continued our bi-annual paper newsletter which shares information about activities, events, and programs at our organization. Finally we received accolades upon the publishing of our moravian walking tour and guidebook of the lehigh valley which features walking tours of moravian bethlehem, nazareth, and emmaus. This book features never before published images from our collection and the collection of the moravian archives in bethlehem.
I attended a lecture recently at lunchtime. The speaker, Lyndsey Brown, was very well prepared and presented a wonderful overview of the spiritual journey of two significant historical figures.
Following the lecture, I had a moment to ask the staff what was new...the executive director, Wendy Koeller recommended the reading of a new publication "The Awakening Heart". I purchased the book and was immediately captivated by the story. I finished the book in short order and have already passed it along to another reader who is interested in the life and times of the moravian pilgrims in colonial america.
As a member of the Historical society, there was no charge for the lecture and I received a discount on the purchase of my book. Both experiences have left me a much richer person.
The recent exhibits and programs hosted by this historical society are terrific. With limited funds, the society has promoted new ways to present historical facts and artifacts to engage current audiences. Their lectures at noon is a new addition - free and full of good information. Collaborations with local students have livened up exhibits on Moravian influenced education in Colonial America. The museum is well worth a visit and support.