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Florida Gulf Coast University Special Collections

10501 FGCU Boulevard South
Fort Myers, FL 33965, USA
Florida Gulf Coast University Special Collections
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Florida Gulf Coast University Special Collections: 02/01/18

Koreshan Collection, 1850-1980

240.00 Linear Feet
The Koreshan Collection offers a rare glimpse into a charismatic leader and his followers as they endeavored to create a thriving utopian community. Lead by their prophet Cyrus R. Teed (later referring to himself as the Hebrew translation "Koresh"), the group relocated to establish their "New Jerusalem" in Estero, Florida in 1894. The Koreshan Unity espoused radical new doctrine that was a union of reincarnation, alchemy, religio-science, and Koresh's most radical concept: the belief that the earth is truly concave and the universe resides finite within. The collection of photographs, ephemera, monographs, sheet music, correspondence, and furniture document the utopian community's industrious nature. Though their community operated on collectivist ideals, the Koreshans sustained their fellowship by operating a bakery and general store, as well as owning and operating a printing press to create original texts, religious publications, the Flaming Sword, and the American Eagle Newspaper. Koresh was a prolific writer, publishing numerous books. The members of the Unity placed great emphasis on fine art, theater, and chamber music, maintaining their Victorian sensibility. Due to generous gifts from The College of Life Foundation and the Koreshan State Park, the FGCU Library's Archives, Special Collections, & Digital Initiatives will be able to preserve and provide access to this rich piece of Southwest Florida history.