Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
the State University of New York at Fredonia
Website URL
Special Collections Librarianship, Digital humanities, In-house digitization methodologies, Specialized research techniques, Rare books, 19th-Century social movements, American Spiritualism, Freethought movement, Burned-Over District and related movements, Victoriana, Suffrage movement in Chautauqua County, Local History - Chautauqua County, Local History - Legend, Lore, & Haunted History, Occult Beliefs, Occult Practices, Occult History, Theosophy, Secret societies, Esoteric and Goetic literature, Phrenology & Esoteric psychology, Esoteric and Occult philosophy, History of 20th-Century subcultures, Sideshow history.
Additional Contact Information Phone: 716-673-3606

Personal Info

About Me

Amanda M. “Mandi” Shepp received her MLS in Library & Information Science in 2013 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  From 2014 – 2018, she worked for the Lily Dale Assembly as the first professional Librarian of the Marion H. Skidmore Library, a special collections and rare books facility which houses the largest private library collection of Spiritualist and Occult books in the world, and became the Library Director in 2016.  In 2017 Mandi was presented with the WNYLRC Excellence in Library Service Award for her role in completely revitalizing the library and bringing it up to modern academic standards.  In 2018, she transitioned to The State University of New York at Fredonia’s Daniel A. Reed Library Special Collections & Archives Division where she currently serves as the Coordinator of Special Collections & Archives.  

In addition to her professional duties, Mandi presents and writes on topics related to collections and historical subjects within the realms of Spiritualism, historical pop culture, and the Occult; she also serves as the co-chair of the Harvest Moon Cemetery Tours planning committee.  When she’s not elbow-deep in materials from a bygone era, Mandi can be found homebrewing, experimenting in the kitchen, and enjoying life with her happy-go-lucky husband, Chris, and enormous Norwegian Forest Cat, Kujira.

Recent Publications

Book Chapters

  • Shepp, Mandi. “A Peek Beyond the Veil: “Spiritualist Shorts” at Lily Dale.” History Where You Least Expect It!: Site-Based Strategies for Teaching About the Past, edited by Kathryn H. Leacock and Jill M. Gradwell,Rowman & Littlefield/American Alliance of Museums, 2020, pp. 129-138.
  • Shepp, Mandi. “Digitizing the Humanities: A Future for Libraries.” Supporting Digital Humanities for                  Knowledge Acquisition in Modern Libraries, edited by Kathleen L. Sacco, Scott S. Richmond, Sara            Parme, and Kerrie Fergen Wilkes, Information Science Reference, 2015, pp. 1-21.


  • Shepp, Amanda M. “Tips and Tricks for Researching Your Spiritualist Ancestors.” Western New York Genealogical Society, Inc., Journal, [Written 2018, Revised 2020 — Forthcoming].
  • Shepp, Mandi. “Digitizing the Humanities: A How-To Guide for the Savvy Librarian.” Against the Grain, vol. 27, no. 5, November 2015, pp. 90-91.

Other Publications, Interviews, & Media Coverage

  • Green, Penelope. “Meet the Mediums of Lily Dale.” New York Times, 4 August 2018,                                
  • “Happy Halloween from Lily Dale.”  Lost in the Stacks: the Research Library Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio Show from       WREK Atlanta, 27 October 2017, .
  • The Bookend. “A Librarian With Spirit(s).” American Libraries, Jan/Feb 2017, pp. 80.  https://americanlibraries
  • Kissam, Elizabeth. “How the Tiny Town of Lily Dale Brings Death to Life – Part II.” Huffington Post, 25      December 2016, 76.html .
Media Coverage
See end of Recent Publications section.
Country Focus
United States of America
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional