Rules of the Archives

The Moravian Archives in Herrnhut is the central archives of the worldwide Moravian Church as well as the provincial archives of the European Continental Province. Its holdings include books, manuscripts and archival collections. The Moravian Church makes its archival material available to the general public under the following conditions:

1. Possibilities for using the Unity Archives' collections are the following:

a) in the reading room of the archives,
b) by correspondence, or
c) by the handing over of reproductions.

2. Persons wishing to work in the Unity Archives must submit an application. For this purpose, a form must be filled out. Upon request, users must provide a form of identification. The application commits the user to comply with the user regulations. At the same time, the user is to observe all regulations governing copyrights and other legitimate interests of third parties in the utilization of findings based upon archival material. The user is liable in the case of violation of these regulations and interests.

3. Permission to use the Unity Archives is determined by the directorate of the archives.

4. The archives directorate may deny persons access to the holdings of the Unity Archives if it is deemed necessary in the interests of the Moravian Church or the Unity Archives. Permission will be limited or denied if:
a) reason is given to believe that the Moravian Church will incur significant disadvantages,
b) the legitimate interests of third parties would be endangered,
c) the user breaches legislation regarding privacy,
d) the integrity of archival material would be endangered by its use,
e) the use of the material would result in an unreasonable administrative burden, or
f) agreements with the owners of acquired materials would be violated. The Unity Archives decides all questions of use, non-use or limited-use of archival materials.
Objections to its decisions may be directed to the directorate of the Moravian Church.

5. The archives may revoke permission to use archival materials especially if
a) important details in the information provided by the user in the application do not or no longer apply to the authorization of use,
b) the archives subsequently becomes aware of reasons which have led to the refusal of use,
c) the user has repeatedly or seriously violated the rules of the archives or does not comply with the terms granted to her or him,
d) the user disregards copyright and privacy rights as well as the legitimate interests of third parties. Additional conditions may be added to the usage agreement at any time.

6. The holdings in the archives are subject to a retention period of 50 years (KO § 1500,6) during which they are not accessible. For dating the files, the most recent item within a file is authoritative. For files that were intended to be made available to the public, the retention period does not apply. Decisions regarding the suspension of a retention period are made by the directorate of the Moravian Church or the registry-creator on application (KO § 1500,6). Suspension of the retention period may be granted if the interests of the retention period do not outweigh the interests of viewing the material. Additional conditions may be added for permission to view the material.

7. Materials that have not yet been cataloged or material whose physical condition is precarious may not be used.

8. Archival materials are presented for use in the reading room of the archives. They may be used during the regular opening hours of the reading room under constant supervision. The user may not have more than one file or book on the desktop at any one time.

9. The user is obliged to handle the archival material in use with the utmost care and to return it in the same condition in which it was received. In particular, the materials should not be used as a writing pad and they should be touched as little as possible. Smoking and any use of fire are prohibited in the entire archival building. Do not drink or eat at the work tables in the reading room. Bags and outerwear are not allowed in the reading room. Cotton gloves are mandatory when using delicate archival materials and microfilm. The gloves are available in the archives. The use of a mobile telephone is prohibited in the reading room.

10. Answers to written or oral questions is usually limited to issues relating to archival material as well as information regarding the nature, extent, condition and usability of the required material. No user is entitled to information that requires an unreasonable amount of work on the part of the archives' staff. The shipping or borrowing of archival material is generally not permitted. For the lending of archival material for special purposes, such as an exhibition, special provisions apply.

11. Permission to use the Unity Archives does not imply any exclusive right on the part of the user to utilize the material, be its scholarly or commercial use.

12. Reproduction of archival material must be requested from the reading room supervisor. The Unity Archives decides what type of reproduction will be made, be it in the form of microfilm, photocopy, digitization or photograph. For microfilm orders of contiguous collections or complete files on a given subject, the client is responsible for paying the cost of the microfilming and also the original microfilm, which is to remain the property of the Unity Archives. For reproductions in the form of photographs, the client is responsible for paying the cost of producing a negative or positive, which remains the property of the Unity Archives. No one has a right to a reproduction. Reproductions are made for scholarly purposes. For the self-production of reproductions (i.e. photography), the user must obtain the permission of the Unity Archives. It can be granted under special conditions.

13. For the publication of archival material, the approval of the Unity Archives is required. Publications must serve scholarly interests, and permission may be withheld if it is determined that the publication violates the interests of the Moravian Church or serves promotional or commercial interests. For the publication of text and music editions, a special permission must be granted. Permission to publish such editions will not be granted if permission has previously been granted to another person. The edition should be published in accordance to scholarly standards. Once issued, an edition permit remains valid for five years. For the publication of images, a reproduction permit must be obtained, for which a fee will be charged.

14. Quotations from archival material or publications of archival material must be provided with a correct source reference.

15. The applicable fees for using the materials in the archives may be taken from the archives' table of research fees.

16. The user is obliged to provide the Unity Archives with a copy of any work created with the use of archival material free of charge.

Herrnhut, December 19, 2003 - Martin Theile, Directorate of the Moravian Church