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Microform & Finding Aids in the University Library

The Shaker Collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society

Call Number

BX 9759 W472X

The Shaker Collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland. Library.  Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1976.

MIC FLM BX 9759 W472X 123 reels. 35 mm.


            The United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, more widely known as the Shakers, was an offshoot of the Quakers and was founded by Ann Lee (1736-1787) in England. Shakers practiced communal ownership of property, celibacy and pacifism, and were frequently harassed for these beliefs. Ann Lee and her followers fled to the United States in 1774 and established the first communistic society in the New World in Watervliet, New York. The Shakers were active proselytizers, and at their height in the 1830's, a period of general religious revival, there were 19 Shaker communities and 6,000 members. Membership declined after the Civil War and there are only a very few members left today. This collection reproduces the manuscripts of the Shaker communities now housed in the Western Reserve Historical Society.


            Reels 1-4: Series I, covenants, laws, legal and land records.

            Reels 5-14: Series II, financial records.

            Reels 14-17: Series III, membership, birth, death, and statistical records.

            Reels 17-29: Series IV, correspondence.

            Reels 29-49: Series V, diaries and journals.

            Reels 49-53: Series VI, testimonies and biographies.

            Reels 53-63: Series VII, addresses, sermons, essays, and other writings.

            Reels 63-87: Series VIII, inspired writings.

            Reels 88-115: Series IX, music.

            Reels 116-117: Series X, poetry.

            Reels 117-118: Series XI, recipes and prescriptions.

            Reel 118: Series XII, school books.

            Reels 118-121: Series XIII, scrapbooks.

            Reel 122: Photographs.

            Reel  123: Shaker membership card file.


FLM BX 9759 W472X

A Guide to the Shaker Manuscripts in the Library of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Cleveland:  The Society, 1974. (Also at MAIN CD 3065 C558 W74 1974.) The guide describes the various series listed above andGUIDE is used with the supplement below for full access.

MIC BX 9759 W472X SUP

The Shaker Collection of the Western Reserve FLM  Historical Society: Reserve Historical Society: A Reel List and a Short Title List of the Printed Materials Contained in the Microform Collection, Glen Rock, NJ: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1977,lists items alphabetically by author, or title if anonymous, with the MCA number. There are cross references from the MCA numbers to Richmond numbers (see below) and vice versa.


MIC FLM BX 9771 Z999 R53X

Shaker Literature: A Bibliography , 2 vols., by Mary L. Richmond, is a bibliography, with detailed annotations of Shaker publications, many of which are reproduced in this collection. It is used the supplement above for full access.


            Religious Communities  


            Shakers--United States--History--Sources 

            Western Reserve Historical Society. Library