New Collection: Rose Mary Lawson Shaker Research Collection

The Rose Mary Lawson Shaker Research Collection (4.24 linear feet) contains various documents, photographs, maps, correspondences, books, and audio-visual materials pertaining to Shaker religious communities in Ohio and Kentucky. Materials in this collection were either used or produced by Rose Mary Lawson, or her colleague, Martha Boice, during their research of Shaker communities.

The collection materials span in date from roughly 1990-2001, though there are some photocopies in the collection that date back as far as 1895. This collection would be useful for those researching Shaker religious communities in Ohio and Kentucky, and even the doctrines, protocol, and history of the Shaker religion as a whole. Additionally, this collection might be of use to those studying the geography or history of rural communities in Ohio and Kentucky in which Shakers resided, as it includes a sizable collection of maps and land deeds depicting Shaker communities and surrounding towns.

Photographs, taken by Rose Mary Lawson, of the Union Village Shaker Meeting House. This building was burned down shortly after the photos were taken. (MS-571, Box 5, File 8)

Photographs, taken by Rose Mary Lawson, of the Union Village Shaker Meeting House. This building was burned down shortly after the photos were taken. (MS-571, Box 5, File 8)

Rose Mary Lawson, née Haley, of Dayton, Ohio was an archivist, author, teacher, and researcher born in 1929. As a young adult, Lawson obtained a master’s degree in history from Wright State University and used this education to work for various historical institutions around Dayton, Ohio, including the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Montgomery County Historical Society (now Dayton History), and the Patterson Homestead. Lawson’s personal scholarly interest lay in the Shaker religious communities of Ohio and Kentucky. She produced many written works on the Shakers, including various articles, a children’s Shaker paper doll book, and a book on the Watervliet Shaker community that was once located in Dayton, Ohio. Lawson passed away in 2007.

Martha Boice, née Hibbert, of Dayton, Ohio is a historian and researcher of Shaker communities and advocate for the preservation of historic Ohio buildings. Boice has spearheaded campaigns to preserve a large number of historic buildings in South-Western Ohio. Boice also had an interest in Shaker architecture, inspiring her to write Maps of the Shaker West, which she published through her own publishing company, Knot Garden Press.

This collection was processed in Spring 2019 by Anna Helmig. For more information about this collection, including a detailed box and file listing, please review the MS-571: Rose Mary Lawson Shaker Research Collection fining aid.

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