Research Lab Assistance & Collections Appointments

Start Your Research Adventure with Old Salem and MESDA

We are happy to offer assistance to anyone wanting to delve deeper into their own research interests.  See below to learn about how our expert team might be able to help you.

Digital Databases

Free, self-service access to the museum’s online digital databases is always available. Start your research adventure by exploring one of these digital databases:

Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library Catalog
Hidden Town Project
MESDA Object Database
MESDA Craftsman Database
MESDA Subject Database
Wachovia Residents Database
Old Salem Object Collection
Old Salem Historic Photograph Collection (via DigitalForsyth)
Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, Vols. 1-13 (via Internet Archive)
The MESDA Journal, Vols. 1-41
Three Forks of Muddy Creek, Vols. 1-14

Personalized Research Assistance

Begin by completing the Research Appointment Contact Form or the Collection Study Appointment Contact Form.  A member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly. You can receive personalized research assistance from our staff anytime!  We are happy to help answer research inquiries, provide tips for using online tools, and make suggestions for pertinent research tools and publications.  Personalized research assistance requires time for members of the Moravian Research Lab staff to review, copy, and deliver materials.

Virtual Assistance by Phone or Email

Speak with a Research Associate to help answer research inquiries and receive tips for using online tools and suggestions of pertinent research tools and publications.

Personalized research assistance requires time for members of the MESDA Research Center staff to review, copy, and deliver materials.

Free__________Initial consult
Free__________Society-level member
$15.00________Student
$25.00________Friends-level member
$50.00________Non-member

Begin by completing the Research Appointment Contact Form.  A member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.

On-Site Research

Access to all holdings in the Gray Library; the library’s vertical research files; the complete Historic Photograph Collection; all materials in MESDA Object Database folders; and one-on-one, in-person interactions with a member of the MESDA Research & Library team.  Appointments must be scheduled at least seven days in advance.

In-person research assistance is available in two-hour appointments and may be scheduled weekdays at 10:00am or 2:00pm. A member of the Research Center staff will help you schedule your appointment.  

Free__________Society-level member
$25.00________General Public


Begin by completing the Research Appointment Contact Form. A member of our staff will be in touch with you shortly.

Collection Study Appointments

We invite you to join us for one-on-one object study in the MESDA galleries.  Interested to learn about objects of a particular media or from a particular region or time period?  We will tailor your experience based on your preferences.  To best prepare for your visit, begin by filling out a contact form at the link below.

Collection Study Appointment Contact Form

Access to MESDA’s thirty galleries, tailored to your preferences, with an expert guide.  Appointments must be scheduled at least seven (7) days in advance.

Free__________Society-level member
$25.00________General Public

Two-hour Collection Study Appointments may be scheduled weekdays at 10:00am or 2:00pm. Because of the small size of many of our galleries, we ask that groups limit themselves to four related individuals at this time.

A member of the MESDA Guide staff will help you schedule your appointment. Appointments must be scheduled at least seven (7) days in advance.


Begin by completing the Collection Study Appointment Contact Form

Before you join us in person, please know that the following protocols will be enforced to maintain safety for all our guests:

  • Hands must be washed before entering the Research Center, Library, or galleries.  Hand sanitizer will be available.
  • Face mask (brought by researcher) must be worn at all times.
  • Maintain six-feet social distancing at all times.