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About John Shepherd

William John Shepherd, the only child of William Lewis Shepherd (1938-1979) and Iola Pearl Sinclair (1935- ), was born 24 June 1962 at Greensburg, Westmorland County, Pennsylvania.  He is descended from Scottish and English coal miners as well as Pennsylvania German farmers. His abiding interests are in immigration, labor, and military history in general and the culture and history of Northern England, Pennsylvania, Scotland, Southwestern Germany, and Ulster, Ireland, in particular.

He graduated from Harmony High School, Westover, PA,  in 1980 and attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) in Indiana, PA, receiving a BA in History with minors in International Studies and German in 1984 and a MA in History with a concentration in British history in 1986. He has subsequently studied military and British history at the University of Maryland, 1988-1990, and library science at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1992.

Mr. Shepherd began his archival career as an Intern at the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, MD, 1988-1989, and has been a salaried employee at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, since 1989, serving as Acting Archivist in 1994-1995, Assistant Archivist from 1995 to 2002, Associate Archivist since 2002-2018, and University Archivist and Head of Special Collections since 2019..

He is Content Editor of the CUA Special Collections web page at

as well as editor and frequent writer for The Archivistís Nook at

He was a contributor to AN HISTORICAL LIST OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS OF MARYLAND (1990), THE NEW CATHOLIC ENCYLOPEDIA (2003),  and to the COLUMBIA GUIDE TO IRISH-AMERICAN HISTORY (2005) edited by Timothy J. Meagher.  He has had articles published in YOURS AYE (Clan Sinclair Newsletter), MILITARY HISTORY magazine, and U.S. CATHOLIC HISTORIAN as well as book reviews in journals such as THE HISTORIAN, BRITISH STUDIES, FINEST HOUR (Journal of the International Churchill Society), Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, and magazines such as MILITARY HISTORY, WORLD WAR II, AMERICAíS CIVIL WAR, CIVIL WAR TIMES, and the Hillsdale College Churchill Project website at

He and his late wife, Marie, have one child, a son named William John Jr. and born in 1996. Besides reading, hobbies include hiking, fantasy football, and cooking.



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