Our Town Amana: Church Archives

By Travis Bockenstedt, Our Town Producer

AMANA - The Amana Church Archives holds the largest, and oldest collection of church documents in the colonies. It's not a place many people get a chance to go, in fact KCRG's Our Town was one of the first camera crews allowed into the archives.

Documents dating back to the year 1716 are stored in this climate controlled room. Janet Zuber translates many of these books from german to english.

"Over 30 years ago I began to do some research on our founders and really became so passionate about what I was reading I thought it needs to be put into English so our young people can understand it," said Zuber. "The community of True Inspiration presented through gruber from 1714 on."

Zuber says its amazing these books even made it to Amana. Their journey started in 1842 when they traveled from Germany to Pennsylvania on boat. It took nearly 12 years before the documents would finally make it to the Amana Colonies.

"I could never do all of it, nor can any one person do all of it. But to do a percentage of what we have would be a lifetimes work," said Zuber.

The Amana Church Society believes the focus should not be on their rich history, but what the church is doing today. Zuber's translations have helped move these 18-century documents into present day books that can be understood by all.
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