Shaker Historical Society



We are actively seeking houseplans, family photographs and other printed ephemera related to Shaker Heights' homes and businesses. If families do not want to donate photographs, we would be interested in receiving digital copies for our archives. We also would be happy to work with residents, old and new, to make copies of documents. 


PLEASE DO NOT simply drop off items as we cannot accept them without making proper legal arrangements.


Shown left is the kitchen from a house on Montgomery that was built in 1927 for a newlywed couple.

The Elizabeth Nord Library and Archives is open by appointment to researchers during normal opening hours (Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 5pm).

The library has holdings predominantly about the Shakers but the development of Shaker Heights and how it fits into the history of Cleveland are also represented. To see an index of our holdings prepared by volunteer Patrice Moore, click here:



The Map Collection

The library and archives contain a number of maps about Shaker Heights, Cleveland and the surrounding area. There are a few exceptions, notably one about Ohio's Underground Railroads. The Underground Railroad map shows clearly a line drawn east from Cleveland to Chagrin Falls, which relates today to Chagrin Boulevard (formerly Kinsman). 


Thanks to a grant from the Ohio Historic Records Advisory Board, the map collection was reorganized and indexed by summer intern and John Carroll University graduate Kati Corbett. A superbly illustrated and indexed finding aid to this collection is available via the READ MORE link below.


The Scrapbook Collection

The museum has a collection of scrapbooks, some of which were created by early members of the Shaker Historical Society to document Shaker Heights history and the business of the society - but the collection also includes scrapbooks from members of the community. This was indexed by John Carroll University summer intern Ann Quinn. To see the index, follow the read more button!




Far Left: Elizabeth Nord

Left: Eleanor Webster whose

scrapbook is in the collection.

The Stereoview Collection includes over 1200 stereoview cards, mainly of locations and topics in the United States. Prominent stereoview companies operating in the US in the late 19th century are also included such as Keystone.


This exceptional collection was fully photographed, organized and indexed thanks to Laurel School student Christina Gao who did the entire project in three weeks! This was her Senior Project.

New Acquisitions

Mother Ann Lee's sayings

Millenial Laws

Integrating the Suburban Dream

The Shakers of North Union

The Van Sweringens & Shaker Village

Shaker Heights - The Garden City Suburb

Our research library holds many books, pamphlets and documents that tell the story of the Shakers of North Union. Plain Dealer photographer Louis Baus' scrapbook of Shaker buildings and life ca. 1900-1910 is one of our greatest treasures. 


Intern Brooke Suraba is in the process of identifying the resources in our library and archives that have a specific North Union context since the SHS halso has many references to Shakers in America in general. Watch this space!

Our research library holds records that tell the story of the Van Sweringens and their development initially of Shaker Village, the area mainly north of Fernway and west of Warrensville Center Road. Notebooks charting street building to personal letters of the Van Sweringen family are awaiting discovery in our research  library. 


Herbert Harwood's Invisible Giants


Parke Bernet Catalog of the sale of furnishings


Shaker Heights became incorporated as a City in 1931 with land that had been Shaker Village, East View Village, or parts of Idlewild, Cleveland and Newburgh Village. Prior to that, Shaker Heights and neighboring cities were known as Warrensville Township in the Western Reserve of Connecticut. The development of Shaker Heights, its schools and neighborhoods are documented well in our archives.


Of particular note in our library is Cynthia Mills Richter, “Integrating the Suburban Dream: Shaker Heights, Ohio” (PhD diss., University of Minnesota, 1999), which the author has graciously permitted the Shaker Historical Society to reproduce here.



Topics we feature in our Elizabeth Nord Library & Archives