Hidden Collections

Economy Store

Archival Description

Creator: Economy Store, Bethlehem
Title: Economy Store, Bethlehem
Dates: 1752 - 1770
Quantity: 2 boxes
Identification: EcStore
Language of Material: German
Location: Moravian Church Archives
Alternate View: View Moravian Archives Finding Aid


The collection contains ledgers, journals, account books, daybooks, and inventories relating to the Economy Store in Bethlehem. Most of the collection is in German script although some English words appear.


The Moravians were organized into a single, communal unit, known as the Oeconomy, which began in 1741. This communal unit freed both men and women from family and domestic responsibilities so they could travel as preachers and religious teachers, while simultaneously staffing as many industries as possible, to finance the Unity's projects. Members in this communal unit acquired their goods from the Economy Store. In the late 1750s, the communal structure came under increasing pressure from both outside and inside Pennsylvania. Therefore in 1761, Bethlehem's leaders set about the complicated process of shifting from one single communal household to a more traditional town made up of separate families.


no restrictions

Custodial History

The collection consists of an inventory book, a daybook, loose accounts and an account books, two journals, and three ledgers


Economy Store, Bethlehem
1. Ledgers
7. Ledger A
Date: 1762 - 1763
Physical Description: No cover, pages bent
8. Ledger B
Date: Apr 30 1763 - May 31 1770
Physical Description: 1 volume
Note: Labeled "from 30 April 1763 to 31 May 1765" but contains entries as late as 1770
9. Ledger C
Date: May 31 1770 - Apr 21 1788
Physical Description: Loose pages, binding
2. Journals
5. Journal
Date: 1763 - 1765
Physical Description: 1 volume
6. Journal
Date: 1770 - 1779
Physical Description: Back cover torn, loose pages
3. Account Books
3. Extract of Accounts
Date: 1755 - 1763
Physical Description: 1 volume
4. Monthly Accounts
Date: 1757 - 1761
Physical Description: 1 folder
4. Daybooks
2. Daybook
Date: 1752 - 1755
Physical Description: Loose binding
5. Inventories
1. Inventory Book
Date: 1760 - 1764
Physical Description: No cover, loose pages
Scope/Content: Store inventory