Shaker Manuscripts

Western Reserve Historical Society

The Shakers were a religious communal society founded and originally led by Mother Ann Lee, who came to America from England in 1774.
By 1826 communities were established throughout New England and the Midwest, as well as in Georgia and Florida.
In 1911 Wallace H. Cathcart, Director of the Western Reserve Historical Society, began collecting Shaker memorabilia. The collection consists of covenants, laws, legal records, land records, financial records, membership records, correspondence, diaries, journals, testimonies, biographies, addresses, sermons, essays, inspired writings and drawings (also known as spirit drawings), other writings, music, poetry, recipes, prescriptions, school books, instructional texts, scrapbooks, photographs, and miscellaneous material relating to 20 Shaker communities located in 10 eastern States.

These collections are now available in microfirm. They comprise 122.00 linear feet (392 containers, 1 oversize folder, and 121 reels of microfilm)