Using this Guide
Mount Holyoke College has amassed a wonderfully rich collection of Shaker materials by obtaining copies of archived manuscripts (letters, diaries, travel journals, sermons, etc) and publications of the Shakers from several major sources.
Nearly all of these materials are on microfilm or microfiche, adding challenge to the task of tracking down individual items of interest. However, we have guides of varying detail and complexity available for each collection that will help you work with these materials in your research.
This guide explains what we have and how to best make use of it.
Collections of Archived Shaker Materials
Our library owns four special collections of Shaker materials in microform:
[Instructions for using library's microfilm scanner]
- Shaker Collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society
(Microfilm reel #'s 380 - 502 and Microfiche set #48 --
Use Pike and the MCA Reel List)
- This is the largest, most comprehensive set containing both manuscripts (the microfilm part) and published materials like periodicals, broadsides, books, catalogs, etc. (the microfiche part). Using this collection requires the use of two guide books. You need both Pike and the MCA guide for manuscripts - which are on microfilm - or else you need both the library catalog (or Richmond) and the MCA guide for published materials - which are on microfiche.
- The Library of Congress's Shaker Collection, 1792-1937
(Microfilm reel #'s 744 - 775)
- A collection of records from various Shaker communities, consisting of correspondence, covenants, diaries, financial and legal papers, hymns, church orders, poetry, inspirational writings, drawings, essays, biographical and historical sketches, memoirs, registers, clippings,etc. This set of 32 microfilms has a simple guide that lists what's on each reel. We only have one copy of this guide and it is in the microfilm area on top of the cabinets, labeled"Misc. 744-775 microfilm guide"
- The New York Public Library's Shaker Manuscript Collection, 1780-1952
(Microfilm reel #'s 4145 - 4153)
- This smaller set of microfilms includes constitutions, diaries, journals, letters, records, registers, and hymns. It also has a simple guide describing each reel of film. There's a copy in the Reference Room at BX 9771 S45 Ref. and a copy in the microfilm area on top of the cabinets, labeled"Misc. 4145-4153 microfilm guide"
- Hancock Shaker Village Library Shaker Manuscript Volumes
(Microfilm reel #'s 4269 - 4274)
- Another small set of films which consists of diaries, hymnal, daybooks and other account books, legal documents, farm journals, and a school journal relating to the Shaker communities at Mount Lebanon (N.Y.), Hancock and Harvard (Mass.). The diaries are those of Elder Grove Babbitt Blanchard (1864-1867). It is accompanied by a printed guide entitled:
- Shaker manuscripts microfilmed by the Hancock Shaker Village Library: annotated index of the collections
- The guide can be found in the microfilm area on top of the cabinets, labeled"Microfilm 4269-74 guide".