Library & Archives

Elizabeth Nord Library & Archives

Elizabeth Nord was the Shaker Historical Society's first director and curator. Mrs. Herman Nord was tireless in her mission to preserve, protect, and to promote the legacy of the Shakers of North Union. She was instrumental in forming the Society and in preventing the construction of the Clark Freeway, which would have destroyed the Shaker Lakes. The Society's Elizabeth Nord Library and Archives was dedicated to her memory on September 15, 1987.

The library is open to researchers by appointment only. Admission is free for SHS members or $5 for general admission.

The library contains books related to the Shakers of North Union, utopian societies, the development of Shaker Heights, and Cleveland. The archives contain vertical files about Warrensville Township, the Shakers, and Shaker Heights. We are actively collecting material.

Some of the special collections include our Map Collection, Stereoview Collection, and the James A. Toman Photograph Collection, which features the Shaker Rapid and other interurban trains.

We are happy to do initial research at no charge, but if your inquiry will take us more than 15 minutes to address or search in our archives, we charge $25 an hour.

Reprographics or copying material is at the discretion of the Director only to ensure the long term preservation of the materials. Fees may apply. No photography or cell phone use is permitted.


Are you looking to use an image of an object in our collection? Please fill out the Image Reproduction Request form and send it to collections@shakerhistory.org.

Library Policies & Procedures

The Elizabeth Nord Library collects, preserves, conserves, interprets, and exhibits materials related to the Shaker sect, Shaker Heights, Warrensville Township, and the surrounding area. The library contains a collection of reference books and archival materials and is available year-round during museum hours to researchers of all ages.


  1. The library is available for public use at a rate of $5 for adults and $3 for children. Use of the library is free for Shaker Historical Society members.
  2. Appointments for visiting the library are required in order to best serve your needs. To make an appointment, call 216.921.1201 or email collections@shakerhistory.org.
  3. Upon entering, present a photo ID and sign in with a member of the staff.
  4. No food or drinks are permitted.
  5. No more than three items will be available to you at a time.
  6. Please do not re-shelve books or archival documents.
  7. Please keep documents in a folder in order.
  8. If researching, please use pencils when dealing with books and archival materials.
  9. Copies can be made for $.25 per page for nonmembers and $.10 per page for members. No cell phones or photography of any kind are permitted by library patrons.
  10. The library accepts gifts of books and other materials in accordance with our collection policy and The Shaker Historical Society’s mission.
  11. Digital copies of any library or archival document are prohibited without prior written permission. The Shaker Historical Society can produce digital images of documents with 7-10 days notice, with an appropriate fee depending upon the nature of its use.
  12. All images must be credited “Courtesy of the Elizabeth Nord Library, The Shaker Historical Society, Shaker Heights, OH”

Finding Aids & Inventories

Did you know we share a Shaker Heights collection with the Shaker Heights Public Library on Cleveland Memory?

Browse the entire collection and be sure to look through Louis Baus's 1931 scrapbook "Shakers and Kirland," a unique look at the Center, North, and East families of the North Union Shaker Colony. It also contains photographs of Warrensville Township and the Mormon Community in Kirtland, Ohio.