Appendix A – Local History Collection Development Policy

Mission Statement 

The Local History Collection strives to make local history material pertaining to the Shaker Heights Public Library, the City of Shaker Heights, the schools of Shaker Heights, and the community, organizations, institutions, and people of Shaker Heights accessible and useful to customers through systematic collection, acquisition, organization, cataloging, publications, reference and research assistance, and programming.

Scope of Collection 

The Local History Collection is a repository of primary and secondary source material that furthers the understanding of the civic, social, religious, cultural, political, and economic life of Shaker Heights and the adjacent Shaker Square area of Cleveland, past and present. The Local History Collection gathers, organizes, catalogs, and makes accessible to the public documents and publications that reflect activities, events, places, organizations, institutions, and services of the community of Shaker Heights and the North Union Shakers.

Secondary material about the history of adjacent communities, of Cleveland and its metropolitan area, of Cuyahoga County, and of the Shaker experience may also be added to the Collection at the discretion of the Local History Librarian. Cleveland- or region-focused publications should offer a context for the history of an aspect of community life relevant to residents in Shaker Heights.

The Local History Collection also collects material of the community of Shaker Heights and/or Cleveland that is not strictly historical. Examples include community cookbooks (publications by Shaker Heights-based and some Cleveland-based organizations) and material that contextualizes the experience of Shaker Heights in a social science, architectural, or other disciplinary framework, and that ideally compares Shaker Heights to other communities.

The Local History Collection is also the home of the Shaker Authors Collection. The Shaker Authors Collection includes books and booklets written by current or former residents of Shaker Heights with significant ties to the community as made clear in biographies about or interviews with the authors. The majority of the text should be originally created by and attributed to the Shaker Heights resident. All books must meet the Shaker Heights Public Library’s collection guidelines. Manuscript material or self-published works may be considered for inclusion within the collection as personal papers if criteria for that collection are met.

Acquisition of Material 

Published material is added to the Collection by donation and by purchase. Donations are solicited from Shaker Authors and local historians as far as is possible and practical. Purchases are made through online and local used-book stores, from local authors directly, and through library contract reduced-rate purchasing for new publications. Duplicates of local history and Shaker Authors material useful for circulation are also acquired, as funds and availability allow.

Unpublished and primary material is added to the Collection by solicitation of and subscription to newsletters and mailing lists; electronic and paper distribution of City and School minutes and agendas; transfer and delivery by the City and Schools of material deemed of archival value; donation of personal collections of memorabilia including photographs and correspondence; and other means. Community institutions, such as the League of Women Voters of Shaker Heights, parent teacher organizations, and neighborhood associations, routinely transfer documents and files to the Local History Collection to provide a secure and accessible institutional repository for materials no longer relevant to operations but vital to the historical record.

The Local History Collection advertises its interest in Shaker Heights documents and its purpose as a repository of information about the history of Shaker Heights on its website, in Shaker Life magazine, and through programming and community involvement.

All material should follow Shaker Heights Public Library criteria for collection development, in that it should be accurate, fitting with community need and interest, in format suitable for standard shelving and storage, and, if it is necessary to purchase items, at a reasonable cost. All donated or collected material will become the property of the Shaker Heights Public Library and will be accessible to the public. All material should be free of dirt, mold, moisture, or pests, and should be in good condition.

Limitations and Restrictions

The Local History Collection at the Shaker Heights Public Library strives to preserve the material it collects and to make it available to the public. Nevertheless, due to HVAC and physical space limitations, the Local History Collection cannot serve as a climate-controlled archive for valuable or delicate items.

Donated realia or three-dimensional artifacts may be transferred to the Shaker Historical Society when appropriate.

The Local History Collection does not serve as a legal repository for any material, including City or School material, and is not responsible for selecting, retaining, or providing access to any material required by law to be kept as official documents or archival records.

The donating agency or individual is responsible for determining the legal status and value of any and all documents donated to the Shaker Heights Public Library.

Customers Served by the Collection

The collection serves the general public, scholars, students, and professional historians by providing access to valuable material for research and personal use.

Cooperative Agreements and Resource Sharing

The Shaker Heights Public Library Local History Collection cooperates with the City of Shaker Heights, the public schools of Shaker Heights, and the Shaker Historical Society through resource sharing and research assistance. The Local History Collection cooperates with Cleveland State University’s Special Collections through participation in the Cleveland Memory digital image database and website.


Gifts of material to the Shaker Heights Public Library Local History Collection will be accepted with the understanding and agreement that they become the property of the Shaker Heights Public Library and may be deaccessioned according to the guidelines of the Collection Development Policy. Gift items no longer needed by the Library may be returned to the donor when appropriate.

Approved by Shaker Heights Public Library Board of Trustees 5/10/1999, 6/15/2010, 6/10/2013