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Manuscript Group 001: Effie L. Shields (1888-1921) Collection (Class of 1906 and World War One)

Identifier: MG001


  • 1918-1945


1.0 Linear Feet (Effie Leota Shields (March 25, 1888-November 17, 1921) was the daughter of John Wilson Shields and Cora Jane Edden Shields of Leatherwood in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. Effie Shields was born in Horatio, Pennsylvania in Jefferson County, and her family later moved to 335 North Sixth Street in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Effie Shields graduated from the Indiana State Normal School (ISNS) on June 27, 1906. During commencement, Shields presented her essay on Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers (see page 2 of the 1906 ISNS Commencement program). After graduating from ISNS, Effie Shields taught high school in Sykesville for one year, Punxsutawney for five years, and at the Horace Mann School in Pittsburgh for one year. At the onset of World War One, Effie Shields was working as a secretary for the YMCA in Pittsburgh, and she volunteered for canteen duty with the YMCA and the American Expeditionary Forces in France from October 1918 to June 1919. She was a canteen worker in Rennes, Ballon, Le Mans, and Paris. From October 18 to November 25, 1918, she was stationed at Camp Coetquidan near the areas of Rennes and Ballon. From November 25 to March 3, 1919, Shields was stationed at Le Mans, France. While in France, Shields severely sprained her knee, and she spent March-June 1919 undergoing treatment at hospitals in Paris. She returned to the United States in June 1919, and she returned to teaching briefly at the Horace Mann School in Pittsburgh. She began to feel ill and took a leave of absence from teaching. She returned to her family home at 335 North Sixth Street in Indiana, Pennsylvania, where she lived with her parents and sister Ida Shields (1888-1972). Effie Shields was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and after a long illness, she passed away at her family's home on November 17, 1921. She is interred at the Oakland Cemetery in Indiana. The Effie L. Shields Collection is housed in one archival box, and it consists of correspondence, newspaper articles, her passport, photographs, and memorabilia from her time training in New York, service in France (October 1918 to June 1919) and a correspondence and related items after her return to the United States in 1919 until her death in 1921. Correspondence discusses daily activities and home life during World War I including Armistice Day (November 11, 1918). The Effie Shields Collection has been digitized and is available online. The oversized photograph of Effie Shields in her YMCA uniform during World War One is stored separately from the collection. This collection was donated by Effie Shields’ sister Ida Shields who was head librarian at the Indiana Free Library on Philadelphia Street from 1932 to 1960. The papers of Effie Shields became the first manuscript collection created by the IUP Special Collections & University Archives (MG 1) in 1983. )

Language of Materials


Manuscript Group 1: Effie L. Shields Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Repository

Indiana Pennsylvania