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Spiritualism in Special Collections: on display from the Marion H. Skidmore Library

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

After a great presentation on the history of Spiritualism and channeled works, which started right here in Western New York, given by Mandi Shepp on Monday 11/16, she has kindly lent us 16 books which are now on display in the Special Collections Reading Room in 420 Capen Hall through January 15, 2016.

The Poetry Collection and Special Collections of the University Libraries are honored to showcase a selection of rare and special books of mediumship through post-mortem and channeled texts from the birth of Spiritualism to the mid-twentieth century. These books are on loan from the Marion H. Skidmore Library in Historic Lily Dale, NY, the largest Spiritualist Special Collection in the country rivaling the Harry Houdini Collection at the Library of Congress.

Spiritualism first appeared in the “Burned-over district” of Western New York with the Fox sisters in 1848. This popular movement, which teaches communion with the dead, was and still is centered in the retreat at Lily Dale. The books on display feature examples of the wide range of mediumship and methodologies involved in channeling and spirit writing from the first major religious channeled work, Oahspe, to the rare Pen Pictures from the spirit of Robert Burns, “the Victorian Elvis”, to the healing aspects of psychopathy channeled from the spirit of Benjamin Rush. The case also includes channeling from Oscar Wilde, and A Book for Skeptics, an extremely rare account of a lengthy stay in the infamous Koons’ Spirit Room of Athens County, Ohio.

For more information on this material and the collections at the Marion H. Skidmore Library, contact Librarian Mandi Shepp at:


In the case:

  1. Newbrough, John Ballou. Oahspe: A New Bible in the Words of Jehovih and his Angel Embassadors. 1882, first edition.
  2. Davis, Andrew Jackson. A Stellar Key to the SummerLand.
  3. Post, Isaac. Voices From the Spirit World: Being Communications from Many Spirits. 1852, first edition.
  4. Owen, J.J. Psychography: Marvelous Manifestations of Psychic Power Given Through the Mediumship of Fred P. Evans. 1893, first edition.
  5. Moses, William Stainton. Spirit Teachings. 1894, memorial edition.
  6. Doyle, Arthur Conan. Pheneas Speaks. 1927.
  7. Stead, William T. (Spirit) and Estelle W. Stead. Communication with the Next World: The Right and Wrong Methods. 1921.
  8. Stead, William T. (Spirit) and Pardoe Woodman. The Blue Island. 1930.
  9. Ames, Julia (Spirit) and William T. Stead. After Death: Letters From Julia. 1905.
  10. Hammond, C., Rev. Light From the Spirit World: The Pilgrimage of Thomas Paine and Others to the Seventh Circle in the Spirit World. 1852.
  11. Paine, Thomas (Spirit) and Horace G. Wood. The Philosophy of Creation. 1882.
  12. Wilde, Oscar (Spirit) and Hester Travers Smith. Psychic Messages from Oscar Wilde. 1926.
  13. Rush, Benjamin (Spirit) and Cora L. V. Richmond. Psychopathy: or, Spirit Healing: A Series of Lessons on the Relations of the Spirit to its Own Organism, and the Interrelation of Human Beings with References to Health, Disease, and Healing. 1890.
  14. Fletcher, Anna Louise. Between the Slates, or, Tails From the Happy Hunting Ground. 1934.
  15. Everett, J. A Book for Skeptics: Being Communications from Angels Written with Their Own Hands. 1853.
  16. Burns, Robert (Spirit) and Mina S. Seymour. Pen Pictures. 1900.