Last updated: 8/27/2012
.202 Shaker Road New
New Lebanon, NY 12125
P.O. Box 630
New Lebanon, NY 12125
Becky Codner, Development/Administration Associate
The Shaker Museum and Library is committed to interpreting for the public is unparalleled collection and the historic site to tell the vital story of America's Shakers as it prepares to relocate the Museum from Old Chatham to Mount Lebanon Shaker Village. Mount Lebanon was home to the Central Ministry and governing community for America's Shakers from 1787 to 1947.
The mission of the Shaker Museum and Library is to utilize its unparalleled collection and the historic North Family at Mount Lebanon to educate people about the history, values, and craftsmanship of the United Society of Believers within the wider context of American history.
The Shaker Museum and Library was founded in 1950 by John S. Williams, Sr. on the site of his Old Chatham farm, in collaboration with the Shaker leadership then extant at Canterbury Shaker Village, NH, Sabbathday Lake, ME, and Hancock Shaker Village, MA.
The Shaker Museum was the first and, at that time, only public museum dedicated to preserving the life, work, art and religious history of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, commonly known as the Shakers.
The strength and scope of the collection resulted from the relationship that developed between the Museum's founder, John S. Williams, and members of the Shaker leadership at Mount Lebanon, New York, Canterbury, New Hampshire, Sabbathday Lake, Maine, and Hancock, Massachusetts. With his interest in these people and their history, Williams recognized the need to collect and preserve Shaker artifacts and records so that future generations could learn about the Shakers. He collected objects from every facet of Shaker life, including machinery, tools and equipment, household furnishings, textiles, baskets, oval boxes and woodenware, books, and manuscripts materials that document the temporal and spiritual lives of Shakers. His relationship with Shakers resulted in the establishment of the Shaker Museum and Library in 1950, the first institution devoted to Shaker history.
The research library in Old Chatham remains open year-round by appointment.
Access: General Public, Students, Scholars, Members
Appointment required: Yes
Architecture and Landscapes
Restoring the Historic Mount Lebanon North Family: The imprint of architecture and the landscape is central in understanding the Shakers' intent of creating Utopia. Visit the historic site as we continue restoration. This summer we start work on the Iconic Great Stone Barn to stabilize the walls, the Brethren's Workshop and the Wash House. Walk the Kitchen Gardens, Water Works, then down to the Shaker Pond.
Guided tours of the New Lebanon, NY North Family Shaker Village. All tours are free unless otherwise noted. Pamphlets are available in the Granary (gift shop) for self-guided tours of the site
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