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Museum reaches fundraising goal for Collections Project

October 20, 2015

We did it! Over $100,000 raised towards sharing the Museum's collection with the world!

With the Museum's successful application to the Delmas Foundation for a $15,000 grant to match a $10,000 pledge from the Tianaderrah Foundation specifically for the digitization of the Mount Lebanon Manuscript Collection, we have met - indeed exceeded - the $100,000 goal of the Collections Project in 2015!

This work has injected new life into the process of bringing the collection to the public through online access, and we are extremely grateful. To date we have:

-Increased collections care with an additional curatorial assistant day of work each week.

-Photographed objects to be featured on our website.

-Arranged for the process of digitizing 150 (4 x 5) transparencies of collection objects.

-Photographed baskets for future exhibition.

When, in 1961, the Museum was declared the Depository of Record for the Shakers by Eldress Emma B. King, manuscripts no longer needed by the Shaker Central Ministry were transferred by gift to the Museum's library. This collection consists of nearly 200 volumes and 2,500 unbound sheets of Shaker manuscripts in the form of journals, business records, deeds, maps, travel accounts, correspondence, spiritual writings, "gift" drawings, architectural drawings and sketches produced between 1780 and 1940.

In the early 1990's two thirds of these records - those pertaining to the Shakers at Mount Lebanon - were microfilmed by the New England Document Conservation Center. The microfilm encompasses over 30,000 images.

Now, these manuscripts will be transferred to digital format and entered into the Museum's digital collections management program, making this treasure trove of documents available to researchers and scholars worldwide.

The completion of this project represents an invaluable contribution to Shaker studies and American history, and we can't do it without you!