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Religion 332: The Shakers: Reference Resources & Guides to Microfilm

Religion 332: The Shakers (Crosthwaite, Fall 2013)

Guides to the Microfilm Sets

Bibliographies & Guides to the Collections

Shaker Literature
(2 volumes) 
Richmond  -- BX 9771 R52 1977 Ref.

  • Also known as  "Richmond" for its author, Mary Richmond.  This annotated bibliography is the most complete listing of Shaker materials currently available.  It does not correspond directly to any one of our microfilm sets (see below for description of microfilm sets), but rather serves as a basic bibliography for identifying existing Shaker materials which you will then have to track down in various ways.  If you find something of interest in this bibliography, take note of both the item number (which can be used with the MCA guide described below, in the case of published materials) and especially the list of locations at the end of each entry.  These provide clues that may help you locate the document. 

A Guide to Shaker Manuscripts
Pike -Western Reserve -- BX 9771 W48 1974 Ref.
(another copy in microfilm room labeled 'Misc. 380-502 Microfilm Guide pt 3')

  • This is the primary guide for the Western Reserve Historical Society's microfilm collection.  It is also known as  "Pike" for its compiler, Kermit J. Pike.  This guide is a descriptive listing of the manuscript (i.e. unpublished) materials available on microfilm.  Start with this guide to identify manuscript materials of interest.  Take note of the "series number" (Roman numeral I through XIV), whether the item falls in subsection "A" or "B", and then the individual volume number.  With that information -- e.g. "IV.B.14" -- you can then use the following guide to locate the item in the microfilm reels.

The Shaker Collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society
MCA Reel List -- BX 9771 W47 1977 Ref.
(another copy in microfilm room labeled 'Misc. 380-502 Microfilm Guide pt 2')

  • This is the locator tool for the Western Reserve collection as microfilmed by the Microfilm Corporation of America [MCA] and so also known as the "MCA Reel List" or "MCA Guide".  In the front of this guide is a listing, based on Pike's numbering system, of what materials are on each microfilm reel.  Following that is a section giving a brief listing (author/title) of the materials on the microfiche (i.e. published Shaker materials).  At the back of the guide is a chart by which you can find items for which you have the Richmond entry number.  Note, though, that not all Richmond's items are in the Western Reserve set of materials.

Shaker Manuscript Collection, 1780-1952
N.Y. Public Library -- BX 9771 S45 Ref.
(another copy in microfilm room labeled 'Microfilm 4145-4153 Guide')

  • This is a descriptive reel list for the collection of Shaker materials from the New York Public Library.  It is not well-detailed and possibly the most effective way of using it is simply to skim through and see what sounds interesting.  Although many of the materials in this collection will have been listed in Richmond's bibliography, with the note that they were owned by "NN", meaning NY Public Library, it takes a lot of careful scanning to decipher whether the Richmond item is actually on the microfilm because the descriptions do not match up well. 

Shaker Manuscripts
Microfilmed by the Hancock Shaker Village Library [Manuscript Volumes 1791-1913] -- BX 9771 S453 2002 Ref
(another copy in microfilm room labeled 'Microfilm 4269-4274 Guide')

  • This is a brief guide to a small set of microfilms produced by Hancock Shaker Village. Not all the materials on the microfilm relate to people or happenings at Hancock, but rather are things that the HSV Library has acquired.

Also from Hancock Shaker Village, we have:

  • Guide to Bound Shaker Manuscripts-- BX 9768 H2 A33 2001 Ref (v. I)
  • Guide to Unbound Shaker Manuscripts-- BX 9768 H2 A34 2001 Ref (v. II)
  • Guide to Printed Shaker Works -- BX 9768 H2 A35 2001 Ref. (v.III)
  • Shaker Community Industries-- BX 9768 H2 A36 2003 Ref (v.IV)
    • These four guides comprise volumes I - IV of a descriptive listing of the Shaker materials at the Hancock Shaker Village Library. A small number of the Bound Manuscripts (v.1) have been microfilmed and are available here at Mount Holyoke as part of our microfilm collection (described in #4 below).

Shaker Collection. A Register...[1792-1937]
Library of Congress -- BX 9771 W65 1997 Ref.
(another copy in microfilm room labeled "Misc. 744-775 Microfilm Guide"
and also online at )

  • This is a a brief guide and descriptive reel list for the collection of Shaker materials from the Library of Congress.  As with the NY Public Library collection, most of these materials are listed in Richmond with the notation "DLC", for Library of Congress, but they do not match up cleanly.  This guide does have a simple index of authors and places, however, so it is slightly easier to either track down items found in Richmond or simply hunt for interesting materials with this guide alone.

We also have:

  • Edward Deming Andrews Memorial Shaker Collection
    (at the Winterthur Museum) -- BX 9771 H46 1987 Ref
    • A guide to the collection of Shaker materials at the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Delaware (sometimes called 'McKinstry'). The descriptions may be useful and we may have copies of the same or similar materials in our collections. But there is no direct correlation to the materials we have here at MHC.

Reference Sources-for overviews & background

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and other Reference Sources
(some suggestions for brief overviews and background):

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form