The National Heritage Digitization Strategy (NHDS) has collaborated on a successful Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant proposal to provide greater access to archival documents of Moravian missionaries.
The 24-month project, Uncommon Bonds: Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaries, was awarded $168,349 USD to digitize over 50,000 pages of manuscript records of the Moravian mission province of Labrador, Canada, 1764-1944, and over 1000 pages of printed materials in the Inuttitut language.
The grant is part of CLIR’s Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives program that provides funds to digitize rare and unique content in collecting institutions. Uncommon Bonds was one of only 18 projects selected for funding from a total of 101 eligible applications, and is the only successful project to include a Canadian partner.
The NHDS will provide project support for the initiative that is a collaboration between
The Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (MAB); Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), Nunatsiavut Government (NG), and Moravian Church in Newfoundland and Labrador (MCNL).
Moravian missionaries arrived on the shores of Labrador from Europe in 1752, and the records they produced provide valuable insight into the demographics, culture, education and language of Labrador Inuit. The records include correspondence, station reports, mission conference minutes, and Inuttitut resources .
The digitized collections and accompanying metadata will be made accessible in three repositories – at MAB, in MUN’s Digital Archives Initiative (DAI), and in NG’s Collections Repository. The latter reflects a repatriation of archival records to their community of origin.