Sabbathday Lake
  Shaker Village
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Shaker Library

Polly Collins, a Gift
from Mother Ann to
Eldress Eunice, August, 1859

(Collection of the Shaker Library,
United Society of Shakers,
Sabbathday Lake, ME).

Regular hours: The Library is open year round, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
(Closed for lunch 12 Noon to 1 PM)

Appointments are required.

The Shaker Library welcomes anyone interested in learning more about the Shakers. This invitation includes scholars, writers, students of all ages, teachers, genealogists, and the Shaker enthusiast.

About the Shaker Library:

Established in 1882 by Elder Otis Sawyer, the Shaker Library is located at the only active Shaker Community in the world. It is housed in the original 1880 Shaker Schoolhouse with the collections enclosed in a two-level temperature and humidity controlled vault.

The Library is both the archive for the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community, as well as a nationally known center of primary and secondary materials by and about the Shakers, from their origins to the present day. Subjects covered include history, religious philosophy, herbal medicine, architecture, furniture, crafts, music, and education. The Library's Radical Collection of materials on other communal and radical religious sects in America in addition to other special collections, provides context for the experience of the Shakers.

New Shaker Library Publication:

Shaker Articles and References in The Magazine ANTIQUES with Shaker Index

[Ordering Info]

The Shaker Collection:

The Shaker Library's collection of original and published materials includes books, archival manuscripts, ephemera, periodicals, scrapbooks, photographs, drawings, maps, oral histories, video and sound recordings, and microfilm of Shaker materials held in other libraries.

A detailed description of these categories follows:

Books--over 3,000 volumes written by and about the United Society of Shakers. This aspect of the Library has been built from the foundation of Elder Otis' original library of 191 items. Many of these books are not listed in available bibliographies. Books are cataloged according to The Library of Congress cataloging system.

Photographs and other images--Thousands of images from the late nineteenth century to the present representing all of the Shaker Communities. Collection includes photographs, slides, postcards, and stereoviews.

Manuscripts--8,000 items including diaries and journals, autograph books, covenants, financial records, membership records, correspondence, testimonies, sermons, inspired writings, music, poetry, recipes and prescriptions, and school books. This part of the collection represents most of the Shaker Communities but is strongest in Sabbathday Lake and Alfred, Maine materials.

Ephemera--2,200 plus items including pamphlets, broadsides, almanacs, catalogues, and stationery produced by Shakers and the world's people; 1,380 labels printed by Shakers for their own products; 2000 postcards; posters of 20th century Shaker exhibits. This collection grows weekly with the addition of 20th century items.

Periodicals--Over 5,000 clippings; complete runs of The Shaker, The Daystar, The Shaker and Shakeress, The Shaker Manifesto, The Manifesto, and the Shaker Quarterly; runs of several social reform and spiritualist journals to which Shakers contributed (Banner of Light, World's Advanced Thought); complete run of The Manchester Mercury, the 18th century newspaper from the hometown of founder Ann Lee.

Clipping file--Over 5,000 clippings arranged by community and subject; includes 18th, 19th, and 20th century articles on the Shakers and related topics.

Scrapbooks--64 kept by Sabbathday Lake or Alfred Shakers, including several kept by friends of the Communities. The scrapbooks document the interests of individual Shakers and include clippings, brochures, poetry, correspondence, photographs, postcards, and greeting cards.

Microfilm--227 reels including the Shaker manuscript collections of the Western Reserve Historical Society, New York State Library, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, University of Kentucky. Also included are cathedral records from Manchester, England, the birthplace of Anne Lee.

Maps--210 maps, views and cemetery charts. Many of the maps are 19th century county and state maps showing locations of Shaker communities in various states. Other examples include plans of The Shaker Village of Alfred, Maine, and maps of Shaker land in New Gloucester, Maine.

Oral histories and other sound recordings--19 unique interviews (with typescripts) with Maine Shakers and individuals closely associated with them during this century; numerous taped lectures including ones given at Shaker conferences at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community in the 1980s; sermons given by Brother Theodore Johnson in the 1980s.

Music--Numerous recordings of Shakers from the Sabbathday Lake and other Shaker Communities singing traditional Shaker spirituals; recordings of Shakers singing with other musicians; and recordings by non-Shakers performing Shaker songs.

Videocassettes--Contemporary documentaries and broadcasts about the Shakers.

Selected items from our Shaker Collection are cataloged online. Visit:

  1. National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)

  2. Maine Infonet (Maine State Library)

  3. Maine Memory Network (Maine Historical Society)


The information about the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, which appears below, is copied with permission from the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village’s website.

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