ALICE | InfoTree | FAQ | home
im | chat | phone | e-mail | appointment
Digital Exhibits
Local Government Records
Manuscript Collections
Rare Book Collections
Reading Room Procedures
Staff Directory
University Archives
Useful Links

Earl C. Shively Collection

Manuscript Collection No.28
Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List


9.6 cu.ft. in 29 boxes. 1914-1956

Provenance: The Ohio University Libraries received the Earl Cranston Shively Collection as a gift sometime after Shively's death in 1956. Melissa Betcher processed the collection during June and July, 1983.

Property Rights: The Ohio University Libraries owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: The Ohio University Libraries has dedicated such copyrights and/or literary rights as it possesses in these papers to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights and possible literary rights is the responsibility of the researcher and publisher.

Access: The collection is open to the public under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Libraries.

Photoduplication: The Libraries will entertain requests to photocopy reasonable amounts of material from the collection for the convenience of individual researchers.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name and number, and the Ohio University Libraries in all footnotes and bibliographic references.

Return to Top


Earl "Pop" Shively was born in McArthur, Ohio on February 9, 1893, to Henry and Alice Hastings Shively. He entered Ohio University at the age of 16, and received his degree in 1921. A veteran of World War I, Captain Shively served as an interpreter at the Versailles Peace Conference. Upon his return to the U.S., Shively taught French at Ohio State University while working toward his law degree. In 1927, he became associated with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and from 1929 to 1933 served as First Assistant. On leaving the Attorney General's Office, Shively entered into private practice where he soon earned the reputation as "Ohio's most effective lobbyist," primarily in his role as General Counsel for the Ohio Railroad Association.

A dedicated and loyal alumnus of Ohio University, Shively deserved the title "Mr. Ohio University." A member of the Board of Trustees from 1938 to 1952 and twice its chairman, he was especially concerned about the Library. He established a library committee and, in 1946, succeeded in receiving a $70,000 appropriation from the State Legislature for the Library. Shively instigated the revision of the Board of Trustees' by-laws in 1951 and was instrumental in the selection of John C. Baker as President of Ohio University. Further, he served on the Inter-University Council of Ohio as a representative and as its general counsel.

An active and involved citizen, Shively served on the Bar Examining Committee from 1941 to 1947 and the Selective Service Board of Appeal from 1948 to 1950. He was a member of the American Legion, the Columbus Bar Association, Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and was president of the Columbus Alumni Association. Local and state politicians found in Shively an enthusiastic Republican ally. A man of many interests, Shively also owned and operated a farm.

Shively's death occurred January 3, 1956; he was survived by his wife of 26 years, Margaret Sharp Shively. Further information on Shively can be found in the Ohio University Alumnus for February 1956, and in the obituaries located in Box 19, Folder 5.

Return to Top


The primary focus of this collection is upon letters and correspondence, with approximately 17,000 items contained within the collection. Large amounts of correspondence to Gilbert Bettman and Harry McGregor illustrate Shively's role as a Republican confidant while communications with such men as Pat Donovan illuminate Shively's role as a railroad lobbyist. Within the Ohio University portion of the collection, voluminous correspondence will be found, principally with John Baker, Gordon Bush, Brandon Grover and George Parks.

The collection is divided into three broad topical areas: World War I, Business and Personal, and Ohio University. Together these areas span the years 1914 through 1955.

Material on World War I includes trench orders, induction papers, maps and photographs from the period of November 1917 through September 1919. The letters and correspondence continue through 1955, encompassing the Last Man's Club.

The material identified as Business and Personal covers the period 1922 to 1956. (Materials on his parents cover a span from 1867- 1905.) A diversity of business, political, and personal correspondence is represented. Also included are manuscripts pertaining to investigations by the Office of the Attorney General, speeches and legal documents. Numerous newspaper articles, pamphlets, bills and receipts are also included. Further, this collection contains many photographs, primarily of people.

Material pertaining to Ohio University covers the period when Shively was a member of the Board of Trustees, 1938-1952. Along with letters and correspondence, this section of the collection includes speeches and alumni materials. The collection contains many documents relevant to Ohio University and particularly for those committees with which Shively was associated.

[Addendum Note by Staff, 1997:]

1. Shively served with the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division during World War I.
2. Other significant correspondents in the collection include Ohio University presidents Herman James and Walter Gamertsfelder, Ohio political leaders George White, Thomas Herbert, and Frank Lausche, Ohio Congressional figures Robert Taft and Thomas Jenkins (1 letter each), and national figures Norman Vincent Peale and Margaret Sanger (1 letter).
3. The collection contains a significant amount of information-- reports, clippings, photographs--growing from the April 1930 fire at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

Return to Top

OHIO University Libraries
Athens, OH 45701-2978
Phone: (740) 593-2699
Last updated:
This page is maintained by Doug McCabe.
Please use our Feedback Form for your questions, comments, and suggestions about the Libraries' services and resources.
OHIO University © 2009 All Rights Reserved