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July 2016

        In this posting we want to highlight and publicize some of the other sites and resources that are available for studying the Koreshan Unity. In this day and age of “Googling” everything, it is nice to know that there are some solid resources available. One of the irritating things about “Googling” a subject like this is that you always seem to get something about Vernon Wayne Howell, a.k.a. “Koresh”. Thank goodness that Google and other search engines have begun to improve their algorithms so that when you use a better search term, such as Koreshan (rather than Koresh) you will see links to the Koreshan Unity and not Waco Texas.

        That is not to say that the term Koresh is exclusive to Cyrus Teed nor is Cyrus Teed anymore important in history that Vernon Wayne Howell. It is just that having done this for almost 25 years it is a little frustrating to try and do some serious research only to have the tragedy at Waco coming up all the time.

        All that being said, there are some great resources here on this website, directing you to other websites that can help in the study of Koresh – Koreshan – Communal Societies, etc. etc.

        Besides the so-called “Inside Links” that you see in the right column of this page, there are also “Outside Links” (how profound!). These take you to various places, some serious, some not so serious. After the link to the Park Service’ official Koreshan State Historic Site you will find a link to a bibliography created by a librarian at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania named Sheila Kasperek. This source first appeared in 1998 and was updated in 2006. It is filled with a number of familiar and not so familiar sources. It is a great starting point if you are beginning to investigate the history of the Koreshans and the Koreshan Unity.

        The second link is one of those more “touristy” sites called Atlas Obscura. It is NOT one of those “off of the wall” sites. The whole mission of Atlas Obscura is to point out places on the globe that they consider curious. The State Historic Site can easily fall into that category. It is, as far as this website is concerned, a great way to introduce one to what goes on here. They have maps, directions, other curious places in the area (including the Bubble Room on Sanibel).

        The next site on the list is Roadside America, “Your Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions”. It has the usual uninformed line about Teed being a “nut”, but worth looking at. If nothing else, it is good publicity, albeit somewhat bizarre itself.

        The last links we will look at this time–and we are lumping two of them together–is one of the most, if not THE most important. They would be the PALMM site, or Publication of Archival Library and Museum Materials. They have an entire section devoted to the Koreshans, which is basically the holdings of the State Archives — at least the photos. Many of those photos are located on this site, but many are not. It is a fantastic resource. The related site is the Florida Memory Project which is the real gem. This is the State Library and State Archives site which takes you into the holdings of the Koreshan Unity. These materials were kept inside the Unity building across the street from the State Historic Site and were is a state of disarray until the Unity donated the holding to the State and they, in turn, organized them. Yu can read about this on the pages entitled About the Collection. Included there is a link to the Guide to the Collection which gives you the basics of what they have. Very few of the manuscripts from the collection are online, so a serious researcher would still have to make a trip to Tallahassee, but just like the PALMM site, the photographs are a real asset.

        These sites, and others, are, at least in my way of thinking, a testament to the value of the Internet. In 1992 all we had was an ancient IBM XP machine with a copy of dBase-II. Getting the word out about the Koreshans, the State Historic Site and the history of Estero and this area of Southwest Florida was difficult at best.

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