|Diaries and Journals||The Seybert Dial Trial Transcripts|
Titled "Spiritual Communications obtained with the Aid of Instruments through the Mediumship of Miss Catherine Fox and H.C. Gordon" and kept by Philadelphia philanthropist Henry Seybert, this journal consists of 72 pages of seance transcripts dated from April-September 1857. This important document outlines and records Seybert's efforts to test and refine a series of very early spirit communication devices with the aid of several mediums -- Kate Fox, H.C. Gordon, and S.B. Brittan among them. The transcripts record the communications of these mediums, guided by the spirit of Henry's deceased father, Adam Seybert, along with a host of celebrity spirit guides that include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Napoleon, and Isaac Newton, as they seek to adjust and refine the apparatus being used to solicit the communications. The specific number of devices tested is difficult to determine, though there was at least one "Alphabetic Rod" or "Semicircular Dial" -- a table-mounted, pulley-controlled device that drove a vertical rod to spell out messages, that relied on table-tipping movements to spell out messages similarly to the Spiritual Telegraph Dial of Isaac Pease, which had debuted only a few years prior. Other communication machines seem to include a "keyed instrument," a "new sliding instrument," a "wooden dial" built by trial participant Mr. Alhauss, a "cog dial" that may have been separate from the Alphabetic Rod, and the vaguely-defined "Telegraph," along with several false starts and discarded devices. Operating in the same time and locale that Dr. Robert Hare performed his famous public trials with his own Spiritoscopes, the transcripts of Seybert's trials provide a window into the early evolution of alphabetic spirit communication devices. IAPSOP has both photofacsimile images of the original journal, and Brandon Hodge's notes and transcribed excerpts from that journal. The original can be found in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and is part of the Seybert Commission collection there. IAPSOP thanks the Library, and John Pollack, a Library Specialist at the Center, for allowing us access to this unique material.
|The Loveland-Moore Journal|
A series of essays and seance records kept in 1852-53 by J. S. Loveland, and subsequently owned by J. K. Moore of Summerland, California. The document includes a biographical summary of J. S. Loveland, in an unknown hand. The original is in the collections
of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) in Lily Dale, New York.|
|Correspondence||Bell-D. D. Bryant (Adiramled) Correspondence|
A series of letters exchanged between R. A. Bell of Helena, Montana, and Delmar. D. Bryant (Adiramled), from 1911 to 1916. The collection includes both personal correspondence and Bryant's circulars, appeals and subscription requests, as well as
what appears to be a partial issue of "Rays from the Sun Circle."|
|Texts||Henry Steel Olcott's Eddy Letters to The Daily Graphic (1874) |
Gathered together in one place and indexed are all 20 of Henry Steel Olcott's letters on the Eddy family phenomena in Chttenden, Vermont, as publised in The Daily Graphic in September, October, November and December of 1874, along with the November 9, 1874 issue of The Daily Graphic which contains George M. Beard's "exposure" of the Eddy phenomena. The material represents an earlier, and different, state of Olcott's People from the Other World (1875).|
|The Notebooks of Joseph D. Stiles' Twelve Messages from the Spirit John Quincy Adams (1859) |
John Benedict Buescher has recovered the manuscript precursors of Joseph D. Stiles' Twelve Messages from the Spirit John Quincy Adams (1859) from the holdings of the Library of Congress, and has written an introduction to a photofacsimile edition of the notebooks (330 MB), providing ready access to the only known instance of manuscript precursors to a published spirit-writing text. For the bandwidth-challenged, a lower-fidelity 120 MB version is also available.|
|The President's Medium -- John Conklin, Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation|
John Benedict Buescher introduces and curates three J. B. Conklin texts -- the medium's 1855 autobiography The Life of a Medium (from Thomas and Mary Gove Nichol's periodical, Nichols Monthly), Spirit Rapping in Glasgow in 1864 and Conklin's own Digging for Captain Kydd's Treasure (1859) -- situating the texts in a serious and thorough examination of J. B. Conklin's life and practice as a medium, and his involvement with Abraham Lincoln and Washington political circles during Lincoln's tenure as President -- a problematic area that JBB notes has left "a ghostly trail through the deliberations of scholars studying Lincoln and the War."|
|Marriott and Maxim: At The Edge of the Unknown|
In Arthur Pearson's Pearson's Monthly (UK variant), from March through October of 1910, the magician William Marriott and the inventor Sir Hiram Maxim -- his Maxim gun was the world's first fully automatic machine gun -- published a series of articles, debunking Spiritualism and occult phenomena, creating a great deal of controversy in the Spiritualist periodical press, particularly in Light. This reprint of the complete run of articles brings these hard-to-find pieces together in one place for the first time since their original publication in 1910. Their publisher, Arthur Pearson had it appears a life-long interest in occult topics, publishing important texts like Goodrich-Freer's The Alleged Haunting of B____ House, and, under the name Professor Xavier, writing several popular occult works in the first decade of the twentieth century.
|Confessions of a Medium (1860, 1861)|
Marc Demarest provides a short introduction and bibliographical note to two early versions of Bayard Taylor's "Confessions of a Medium" (1860, 1861), an early example of the mediumistic confessions genre of Spiritualist literature.
|Photographs||Michael McEachern McDowell Death Collection Materials|
The Michael McDowell Death Collection is comprised of 76 boxes of material, and spans the years 1616-2005. The Psychics and Spiritualism series, which includes boxes 35 through 43, contains a comparatively extensive group of spirit photographs, complete albums of spirit photography, and Spiritualism-related materials, including photographs identified as the work of Edward Wyllie, William Mumler, Frederick Hudson, and others. The collection is currently housed in the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Deering Library, Level 3, 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston, Illinois.
All materials in this collection were digitized and documented by Brandon Hodge of The Mysterious Planchette.
Boursnell Album: Unidentified female; James Coates; David Duguid; Mrs. McAlberts [?]; Unidentified male [Mrs. Boursnell?]; unidentified female [Mrs. Boursnell?].
Houghton-Hudson Album: Georgiana Houghton; Mrs. Cooper; Lottie Fowler; Mrs. Pearson; unidentified female; Georgiana Houghton; nephew of Mrs. (Benjamin) Coleman, possibly a Deekins, with a spirit with the appearance of Lizzie Deekins, step-daughter of Benjamin Coleman; Mrs. Barnard; J. M. Sutherland; Miss Shorter (the daughter of Thomas Shorter?); Miss Shorter and Mrs. Shorter (wife of Thomas Shorter?); John Lamont; John S. [Garble]; William Turkentine (Willie Turkentine, medium); unidentified male; William Stainton Moses (M. A. Oxon) with Imperator; Mrs. Tebb and Georgiana Houghton; Georgiana Houghton and the spirit Zilla.
Schofft Bela Album: Anton Grochyska [?]; Herr Baier; unidentified female; Adelma von Vay; Dr. Adolf; Madam Reiner; Catherine von Vay; Nicholas von Vay; Mary Fischer; Hari Weinberger; Herr Kumerle [?]; Mr. Ignaz [?] Weber; Odon von Vay; Madame Baier; Adelma von Vay.
Schemboche Album: Paolina Caroni, Baroness Kirkup; Paolina Caroni, Baroness Kirkup; Imogen Kirkup; unidentified child; Ann Sophia Floyd (mother of Emma Hardinge Britten); Margaret Floyd Wilkinson (sister of Emma Hardinge Britten).
William Shew Pet Anderson Spirit Drawings Album: Sir Francis Bacon; Pietro Vecchia; Cranmer; Dawn; Yermah; Hassan Al Meschid; Arbaces; Abd El Kader; Omari; Mazaleel; Confucius; Atyrrah; Pindar; Plutarch; Ayotte; Henri de Brianville; Alfred the Great; Adehl; Heloise; Phillippe Quinault; Van Dyke; Catallus; Abelard; John Giocondo; Peter Korzakieff; Orondo; Gautama
Miscellaneous Psychic Ephemera: letter from Clay Burton Vance to Josephine Ferguson; Special to my Patrons notice from Clay Burton Vance; Oriental Jewels Co. advertisement; Advert for the Great Book of Wonders, Secrets and Mysteries and the Mystic Oracle; Secret of Mysterious Powers Revealed at Last related to Prof. Knowles; postcard advertisement for Madame I’oma World-Famous Mystic and Genuine Clairvoyante; advertisement for Mrs. Bell Southern Born Psychic; ticket for Mme. Jamelah’s Palmistry Studio; business card for Alice A. Morgan, Soul Reader; letter from Raymond Garrett Heermance to Pearl Esther Niles [?]; business card of Raymond G. Heermance; letter from Roxroy to Miss Kitchin; letter from S. Z. Barney Clairvoyant and Indian Dr. to Miss Myra Newman
Edward Wyllie Spirit Photographs/Thoughtographs: Miss Kate Arrol [?]; Mrs. James Coates; unidentified female [Mrs. James Coates?]; unidentified spirit; Mrs. James Coates; Mrs. J. Coates; John Auld Esq.; Miss Jennie Mathewson; Miss Jennie Mathewson; spirit of Rev. E. D. Girdlestone; Mrs. George Hector (Jennie Anderson Simpson); unidentified male; James Coates; James Coates; unknown female; unknown female; unknown spirits; unknown spirits; a friend of Mrs. Wallis Middleton; Miss McAllister; Mr. Whiteford; Mercer Case; Disler Case; Mrs. James Coates; Mrs. Shaw; Mrs. Coates and John Auld; John Auld.
Mumler Album: A.D. Herfkins [?]; unidentified male; unidentified male; unidentified female.
Miscellaneous Photographs (various photographers, including Rand, Reeves, Chappuis, Buguet, Fallis, Hornung, Lucas, Cowey, Crompton, Billinghurst & Dovey, Boursnell, Bundell, Hudson, Russell & Sons, Needham, Severence & Yocum, Bostwick): unidentified spirits; unidentified male; Ehri [?] Arbuthnot; unidentified male; unidentified male; unidentified female; Daniel Dunglas Home; Lee Lerie [?]; Lee Lerie; unidentified male; unidentified female child; unidentified male; unidentified female; Cora Hatch; unidentified spirits; collection of identified famous spirits; unidentified male; collection of identified famous spirits; spirit postcard; spirit postcard; Hornung promotional card; Hornung promotional card; unidentified female; Cowey promotional card; Mrs. S. H. Rogers; Hornung promotional card; Clara Potter; cabinet seance photograph; Trowbridge Children (Wella & Pet Anderson); Spirit of Lily Gordon (Kate Cook, medium); unidentified children; unidentified female; unidentified male and female with ectoplasmic mist; William M. Clark; unidentified male; unidentified spirit; spirit (Annie Fairlamb, medium), spirit of Katie King (Florence Cook, medium); J. J. Morse; James Robertson; two spirit photographs from Human Nature for September of 1874; Mrs. Claire of Liverpool with the spirit of John Lamont; Horatio Hunt; unidentified male; unidentified male; unidentified male in Britten Memorial spirit photograph; unidentified male; Boursnell promotional card; Boursnell promotional card; unidentified male; JES; illustration from Coates Photographs of the Invisible; J. Whitworth, Esq.; unidentified male; unidentified spirit [drawing?]; Severence & Yocum promotional card; unidentified male; unidentified male; unidentified female; unidentified female.
Miscellaneous Spirit Stereoscope Album: F. H. Kingsbury/Fast Day - A horrible Intrusion; unidentified scene; The Believers Vision; unidentified scene; Reveries of a Bachelor; Rock of Ages (the Ascension); One by One the Sands are Flowing; McCarthays Wake (series of four); the Poacher’s Ghost; the Country Lane Ghost; the Artists Dream; unidentified scene; A Dream After Seeing Peppers Ghost; One by One the Sands are Flowing; Spirit Manifestations After Attending Club Meeting No. 341; Her Guardian Angel; Her Guardian Angels; Her Guardian Angel; Her Guardian Angel; the Haunted Lovers; What Is’t? A Spirit?; Mickie’s Ghost; Mickie OHoolihans Wake.
Lake Pleasant Camp Meeting Stereoscope Album (F. Crozier, photographer): unidentified scene in front of tent; unidentified scene at lakeside; unidentified rail cutting; unidentified scene in front of tent named “Woodland Home”; unidentified crowd scene; unidentified porch scene; unidentified scene in front of tent; unidentified scene in front of tent; unidentified scene in front of house; "Chattan Smith Family Quintet"; unidentified scene in front of house; unidentified scene in front of tent; unidentified scene in front of tent; unidentified scene in front of house; unidentified scene in front of house; unidentified scene in front of house; unidentified scene in front of house; identified scene in front of lean-to shelter; band stand [?]; woman posed in arbor in front of house.