Shaker Village holds more than 4,000 3-dimensional objects and well over 5,000 library and archival items in its collection.

Collections and Archives

The Collection at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill documents the long history of Pleasant Hill, both during and after the Shaker era. Buildings, furniture, textiles, tools, personal items, journals, correspondence and photos all reveal what life was once like at Pleasant Hill and provide great insights into how Shaker history is relevant to us today.

Shaker Village holds more than 4,000 3-dimensional objects and well over 5,000 library and archival items in The Collection. Several projects are ongoing to update its inventory and build a digital database.

If you have questions about The Collection, please email us.

Read more about the history of the Shakers and this village.

View the calendar to find upcoming Collections + Archives programming!

The Research Library

The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Research Library contains many valuable resources including microfilm, books, periodicals and photocopies of primary sources. Those interested in utilizing resources for scholarly research can apply for a Research Fellowship.

Access to the resources of the Research Library is available Monday-Friday by appointment only, as staff are available. Walk-ins may not be accommodated. Please contact us in advance to discuss your research interest so we may better assist you with your project and schedule an appointment for research.

To make an appointment to use Research Library resources, please email us.

Research Services

The research of onsite researchers takes precedence; therefore, staff are unable to provide comprehensive research assistance for external inquiries. However, up to one hour of research time will be given to inquiries submitted using the General Research Inquiry Form.

Policies and Forms


Shaker Village has several collections and archives projects available throughout the year for student interns. Specifically focused on the unique challenges of preserving and presenting history to the public in a relevant way, these projects are ideal for both undergraduate and graduate students looking to gain experience in the public history field.

Opportunities include assisting staff with inventory of the 3-dimensional collection, working with PastPerfect software to enhance catalog records for public access, transcribing primary sources and researching particular topics and people—all of which will help Shaker Village fulfill its mission of inspiring generations through discovery by sharing the legacies of the Kentucky Shakers.

If you have questions about these projects or interest in an internship, please contact us.

Research Fellowships

As part of the ongoing mission to preserve and discover the Shaker heritage of Pleasant Hill, the Village offers several short-term fellowship opportunities to facilitate ongoing scholarly research about the Shakers and their heritage. These fellowships will assist in the continual understanding of the site’s history, while providing students and scholars a place to pursue their own educational and professional goals.

Any scholar, student or teacher with an interest in Pleasant Hill and Shaker history is encouraged to apply, including independent researchers, university professors, students and K-12 teachers.

Recipients will receive complimentary lodging at The Inn and meals from onsite food services for up to 12 days. Onsite lodging may be restricted based on availability at certain times of the year. Small stipends are available in special situations. Recipients will have access to Shaker Village’s onsite archive, research library and collections. Research at other local institutions may be permissible if their value to the project can be demonstrated.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Each applicant must submit a résumé/CV and a prospectus. The prospectus should describe the proposed project and its significance, how it would benefit from Shaker Village’s archives and collections, and an estimated timeline for use of the archive. Send résumé and prospectus, along with any inquiries, to

Frequently Asked Questions

What resources are available to the public?
The Collections and Archives Facility provides intentional researchers access to resources including journals, hymnals, ledgers, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, microfilm and microfiche, books, periodicals and reference files. Rare books, special collections, archives, reference material, 3-dimensional objects and textiles are available to be consulted exclusively within the Research Library in agreement with handling and security policies. Researchers should be aware that portions of the collection have restricted or limited access due to the physical, legal or contractual condition of the materials.

Why do I need an appointment to access resources in the Research Library? I’m already onsite, why can’t I just drop in?
The Research Library supports the research of both primary and secondary sources by scholars, museum professionals, research fellows and staff, so making an appointment in advance is necessary to ensure staff and space will be available to facilitate guest research. By contacting us ahead of time to make an appointment, we can talk with you about your research, tell you if we have what you’re looking for and possibly identify related materials in the collections you might not have known about which may help with your project. To schedule an appointment to use the resources within our Research Library, please email us.

I’m looking for information about my ancestor. Do you have a database I can search?
The internal database we use to keep track of the more than 2,220 Pleasant Hill Shakers appearing in records between 1805 and 1923 is not currently accessible to the public; however, individuals interested in researching ancestors associated with Pleasant Hill may arrange for an onsite visit to conduct research in person by contacting us.

Is the collection available to search and view online?
We’re actively working to provide greater access to The Collection through several ongoing projects to inventory items, update records and build a digital database, but with more than 1,500 photographs, 3,000 book, periodical, audio, video and microfilm resources, 500 journals, hymnals, manuscripts, correspondence and pieces of ephemera, and an additional 4,000 3-dimensional objects, it’s a work in progress. Please check back.

Do you have finding aids for the collections?
Currently, there are not finding aids for the special collections material.

Are you adding to the collections?
Yes. We gladly encourage prospective donors to contact us. 

Didn’t see your question here? Contact us.

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