1798 view of Bethlehem, detail of 1801 School Rules, and Principal Sylvester Wolle
In 1742, Moravian Church patron Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf's sixteen year old daughter Benigna established arguably the first school for girls in the American Colonies. Permanently settled in Bethlehem since 1749, the Bethlehem Boarding School for Girls – also known as the Bethlehem Boarding School for Young Ladies, Young Ladies Seminary, Moravian Female Seminary and, Moravian Seminary and College for Women – is the focus of a major 2007 expansion* of Bethlehem Digital History Project education content.
Rare primary source documents, manuscripts, personal papers and visual materials, plus significant secondary source texts are newly added. Highlights include August Spangenberg’s 1792 Etwas von der Pflege des Leibes fur Kinder (Something of Bodily Care for Children) along with Zeisberger’s 1803 translation into a Delaware Indian language, a 1790 student “cyphering” workbook, student artwork, school rules, Reichel’s “Moravian Seminary Souvenir”, and an invaluable new finding aid for the "Female Seminary" portion of the extraordinary collection of materials housed in the Moravian Church Archives in Bethlehem.
* Made possible by a federal Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant