The Moravian Archives collect primarily Moravian Church records irrespective of physical form that support the history of the Moravian Church in South Africa.
The collection includes manuscripts, theses, publications, periodicals, cartographic and photographic material, microform, video and audio records. The records include some personal but mostly official church documents such as diaries, biographies and correspondence within the Church and outside with ecclesiastical bodies and South African government departments since 1737.
The Moravian Archives has a vast collection which covers the so called â€œmissionâ€ period 1737 â€“ 1948 in South Africa and world wide. This also includes the slavery period although not always explicitly recorded as such. Unfortunately the Moravian archives is lagging behind with oral histories although allegedly many oral history recordings were disposed off without authority as â€œnot historyâ€ or â€œirrelevantâ€.
The Moravian Missionaries left well kept up to date diaries, paintings and sketches, correspondence and up to date financial records. The registers of which the baptism registers are most frequently consulted and which 80% are now in microform. During the 1990â€™s it was discovered that the only complete collection of the Moravian Periodical Account (1785 â€“ 1965) are in custody of the Library of the University of the Witwatersrand. Without any authorization, an unknown person, gave records of the Moravian Church in the Eastern Cape, called the â€œBaziyaâ€ collection, to the University of Umtata.