Recent Research

We welcome any questions about the collection. Please submit your inquiry here.

To schedule a research appointment please contact

Appointments are available in advance on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Genealogical questions about Moravian ancestors should be directed to the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem through their website.  All other Northampton County related genealogy research questions should be directed to the Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society:

If you are not able to conduct your own research on-site we can assist you for a fee. See list below.

Digital files of objects along with one-time reproduction rights of objects in the collection are available. See list below.

Research and Reproduction Fees

Remote staff member assisted research $40/hour

One time image usage for publication $50 (We request a complimentary copy of the publication)

Photographic set up fee per image $10

Photographic set up fee per image for rush orders $25

Scan (up to 8.5 x 11 original image size) $5.00

Copy of existing digital images $2.50


The objects under our care are brought to life through ongoing study and examination. This continued research brings the new perspectives and fresh interpretations that are needed to help us more fully understand our shared heritage.

In 2019, a research team took on a remarkable project—to build a working, playable replica of the upright piano found in our collection. In doing so, they have made some new  discoveries about the instrument and its maker adding to the canon of knowledge of eighteenth-century American music and crafts

18th Century Upright Piano


The anonymous eighteenth-century Germanic upright piano exhibited at Whitefield House is of great significance to American music history. It is believed to be the oldest extant American-made piano, testifying to the importance of music and the sophistication of crafts among the Moravian settlers in colonial America.


In November 2019, the Moravian Historical Society welcomed researchers John Watson, Tom Winter, and Michele Winter to the Whitefield House museum. Over the course of two weeks, the researchers thoroughly examined the piano with the intention of both uncovering the instrument’s history and creating a playable replica for the Moravian Historical Society. The replica is now on display in our museum.  


Their research offers some compelling evidence about its maker and date of construction. You can learn more about the researchers’ findings and get a first glimpse into how the instrument sounds on their website.

Upright Piano
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Piano Interior
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