Shaker Village holds more than 4,000 three 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.
Read more about the history of the Shakers and this village.
View the calendar to find upcoming Collections and Archives programming.
If you have questions about The Collection, please call 859.734.1549 or email us. Collections staff are generally available Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Schedule permitting, appointments to access the collections or the research library can also be arranged during these hours. All appointments must be made in advance of a visit to Shaker Village.
The Research Library & Archives
The Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Research Library contains many valuable resources including microfilm, books, periodicals and photocopies of primary sources. Our Archives also contain journals, manuscripts, ephemera, and other documents relating to the Pleasant Hill Shakers and Shaker Village’s restoration history.
Access to the Research Library is by appointment only. Prospective researchers are encouraged to contact the Curator of Collections at least one week in advance of their planned visit. Last minute requests will be accommodated on a case-by-case basis, depending on staff availability.
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.
Inquirers will be notified when their request has been received. Please allow two to three weeks for research inquiries to be reviewed and processed. All inquiries requiring more than one hour of research are subject to a pro-rated $25.00 per hour charge plus copy fees. Expedited research service may be requested for a fee of $35 in addition to the pro-rated $25 hourly rate plus any copy fees. Duplication requests are subject to standards fees.
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.
It’s a library, why can’t I check items out?
The Research Library is not a public library, and many items are irreplaceable, regulated and non-circulating. Because we hold a single or unique copy some items which would be costly or impossible to repair or replace, it’s imperative that items from The Collection do not circulate so they can be properly preserved to ensure their accessibility for future generations of researchers.
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.
I can’t travel for an onsite visit. Can you still help me find what I’m looking for?
While staff are unable to provide comprehensive research assistance for external inquiries, research inquiries submitted using our General Research Inquiry Form will be given up to one hour of research time by our staff. All inquiries requiring more than one hour of research are subject to a pro-rated $25.00 per hour charge plus copy fees.
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. Currently, our object and archival collections are available for searching via PastPerfect Online.
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.