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Acquisition / Accession Report

Brethren Church Archives

Title: A. H. Cassel Collection
Accession #:BCA 2005-00002Accessed: 2005Rec'd by:David R. Roepke
Acquisition #:BCA 2005-00002Acquired: May, 2004Acq'd by:David R. Roepke
Donee:n/aDonation type:Gift
Address:n/aDeclared value:$n/an/a
Category:Manuscript CollectionSub-Category:Artifact
Storage Medium: File storage boxStorage Location:BC Archives
Classification:Education, religion

Publication / Copyright Information

Publisher:Enter publisherCopyrighted?:Yes or noYear:Enter year
Address:Enter streetItem type:Enter book, photo, etc.Enter city, state, ZIPGenre:Historical book, religious book, etc.
Reserved:For future useReserved:For future use

Scope, Content, Abstract:

Abram H. Cassel [Click for larger image]The items found in this collection were gathered by Abraham, H. Cassel and Obed Snowberger during the mid-19th century.  The focus of this collection is centered around the Snow Hill Nunnery and the Ephrata Community of Pennsylvania.  The Ephrata community is a national historic landmark located in Central Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County.  The community, or cloisters, was one of the earliest religious centers which was founded in 1732 by Conrad Beissel, a German settler.  The community was based on medieval European concept of celibate brothers and sisters and a married congregation of families.

They became known for thier music, calligraphy and printing. following the death of the last celibate member in 1813, the married congregation formed the German Seventh-Day Baptist Church. Members continued to live and worship at the Cloister until 1934. In 1941, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania acquired the historic site and began a program of restoration and interpretation.

Abraham Harley Cassel (1820-1908), bibliophile and Brethren historian from Harleysville, PA., Mr. Cassel was the foremost historian on the subject of German and American issues.  His library of 50,000 volumes can be summed up by the following 1867 letter by Cassel: ”My greatest delight from early infancy was in books and matters of former times.  Consequently the pursuits of my whole life were bent in that channel.  I have therefore amassed an amount of matter that is almost incredible.  Among which may be found letters, genealogies, and other manuscripts from many of the most ancient Brethren.  I have travelled thousands of miles and ransacked many old bee-boxes and flour barrels in the garrets and lofts of their dispersed descendants to collect them.”  Sometime prior to 1908, Mr. Cassel donated 300 volumes to the library at Ashland College, Ashland, Ohio.

Since May 2004, this collection has been housed at the Brethren Church Archives, Ashland, Ohio.  Prior to this time the collection was received at Ashland Seminay, Ashland, Ohio. The possible donor of these materials was Rev. D. C. White of Berlin, Pennsylvania.

Box 1:
  1. Folder 1:  Amwell Church of the Brethren, New Jersey-typed manuscript related to the founding of the Amwell church.
  2. Folder 2:  Antitum meeting house-Hand written note detailing history of the Antietam meeting house.
  3. Folder 3:  Articles of faith Seventh Day German Baptist (photocopied title page only).  No other information given.
  4. Folder 4:  Brethren Church history – Snow Hill Penna. Nunnery – Loose pate from the Brethren Evangelist, December 1, 1951.  Article written by Freeman Ankrum.
  5. Folder 5:  Brethren Evangelist clipped article (no date).  Article by Obed Snowberger – items of church history – the Tunker Brethren.
  6. Folder 6:  Brethren Evangelist clipped articles (Feb. 6, 1884, Mar. 5, 1884, July 20, 1892 – Clipped articles by Obed Snowberger.  Old German hymn books, founding of cloister.