The Shakers are prolific in their theological and historical publishing as well as in the production of printed materials to promote and facilitate the sale of their manufactured and agricultural products.
The Library holds nearly all of the essential printed sources pertaining to the Shakers, as well as, many more obscure pamphlets and tracts that reflect the Shakers’ history, theology, and temporal activities. The Library holds a substantial collection of the Shakers’ more ephemeral printed works including bill heads, stationery, and product labels.
Because the Museum’s founder John S. Williams, Sr., was an anthropological collector rather than a collector merely of rarities, in some case the Library may have many examples of the same item. For example, Williams was able to salvage over five hundred copies of a four page pamphlet that had been printed but never even folded and trimmed or widely distributed.
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