The Special Collections of Hamilton College include a substantial gathering of primary and secondary source materials relating to American Communal Societies: bodies of people who have intentionally separated themselves from society in general and live according to a shared set of principles, whether religious or secular, in common ownership of property. This collection consists of manuscripts, printed works, visual materials, ephemera, newspapers, and a limited number of artifacts from the eighteenth through the late twentieth centuries. The collection is particularly rich in primary source materials from the following communities:
The aim of the collection is to be comprehensive for imprints relating to all aspects of American Communal Societies, and strong in materials relating to the Kentucky Revival, the Reformed Methodists, the Burned-Over District, the early Adventist movement, and nineteenth-century reform movements. We also have a number of imprints from the Rogerenes, the Ephrata Cloister, the Unitas Fratrum or Moravians, and periodical literature related to Robert Owen.
Printed materials in the Communal Societies Collection are viewable in ALEX. Selected photographs and ephemera are viewable through the Digital Collections portal. Manuscript materials are being cataloged, and finding aids are currently available for some parts of the collection. Please contact Christian Goodwillie, Director of Special Collections and Archives, for more information or to schedule a research visit. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday though Friday.
We are constantly adding new materials to this collection as opportunity arises. For all materials currently available online, see the menu at the left.
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