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George Green Shackelford Papers

Identifier: Ms-1983-008

Scope and Content

The collection contains materials relating George Green Shackelford, a professor of history at Virginia Tech and includes clippings, correspondence, memoranda, bulletins, scrapbooks, and other materials relating to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (now Preservation Virginia); the National Trust; the New River Historical Association; the Virginia Landmark Commission the Democratic Committee of Montgomery County (Virginia); the Visiting Scholar Committee of the College of Arts and Sciences for VPI&SU; Blacksburg, Virginia, and Southwest Virginia history; historic properties in Blacksburg and Southwest Virginia, particularly Smithfield Plantation; and of Virginia and VPI&SU related topics.

Two notable collection items are a card from Mrs. John F. Kennedy thanking Shackelford for his sympathy for her husband's death and an invite to a reception in honor of Mrs. Douglas MacArthur of The National Officers of the Hereditary Societies of the United States at The Washington Club.

Although most collection items relate to Shackelford's professional and academic career, some notable personal items include local clippings reporting his wedding to Grace Howard McConnell and various invitations to his home for holiday parties. Because Shackelford was a prolific letter writer and maintained close relationships with many of his colleagues, his professional correspondence often includes personal inquiries.

This collection is arranged into six series--Series I: Correspondence; Series II: Manuscripts, Projects, Research, and Academic Papers; Series III: Association papers; Series IV: Personal Papers; Series V: Scrapbooks; and Series IV: Oversized Materials. Within these series, there is some subject overlap within individual folders.


  • 1899 - 1990
  • Majority of material found within 1955 - 1989


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

George Green Shackelford was a professor of history at Virginia Tech. He also was a historical preservation expert and specialist in the age of Washington and Jefferson in Virginia history. In 1985, he received an award from the Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture in historic preservation.

Shackelford attended the Woodberry Forest School, Columbia University, and then the University of Virginia for his Ph.D. He also earned certificates from the Attingham Summer School and Institute of Historical and Archival Management.

In 1942, Shackelford received his commission in the Naval Reserve and served in anti-submarine warfare in the Atlantic and Pacific. He was a Lieutenant by the end of his service.

Before Shackelford taught at Virginia Tech from 1954 to 1986, he taught at Birmingham Southern College from 1948 to 1949 and worked as a research fellow at the Virginia Historical Society. From 1963 to 1964, Shackelford spearheaded the restoration of Smithfield Plantation. In 1967, he worked as a historical consultant to the Westmoreland David Memorial Foundation for Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia.

Shackelford was also a prolific author. He wrote five books, including Jefferson's Adoptive Son: The Life of William Short, 1759-1849 and Thomas Jefferson's Travels in Europe, 1784-1789. He also wrote many articles and was the co-editor of the Virginia Social Sciences Journal.

Throughout his career, Shackelford was active in numerous associations and boards:

  • He was the President of the Monticello Association from 1969 to 1971.
  • He was on the board of directors for APVA, now Preservation Virginia, and was the President of the Montgomery Branch of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities in 1975.
  • He was a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historical Preservation from 1976 until 1979.
  • He was a member of the Virginia Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution from 1987 until 1992.
  • He was the President of the Southwest Virginia Branch of the English Speaking Union.


16.8 Cubic Feet (12 Boxes, 7 Oversized Folders)


This collection contains correspondence, research files, project files, and manuscripts of George Green Shackelford, professor of history at Virginia Tech from 1954-1986.


This collection is arranged first by material type, then subject, and then alphabetically. Some subject and series overlap within individual folders.

Series I: Correspondence, 1939-1990 Series I contains correspondence separated into authors. Where no large group by one author existed, correspondence was arranged in folders in alphabetical order. Efforts were made to separate professional and personal correspondence, but a great deal of overlap remains.

Series II: Manuscripts, 1899-1990 (bulk 1955-1989), Projects, Research, and Academic Papers This series contains drafts of papers, research materials, and completed papers, arranged in alphabetical order.

Series III: Association Papers, 1956-1987 This series contains materials Shackelford kept from the various professional and political groups he associated with, in alphabetical order by group.

Series IV: Personal Papers, 1939-1985 Series IV contains personal materials relating Shackelford and his life, arranged alphabetically by subject. Series V: Scrapbooks, 1943-1971 Contains scrapbooks put together by Shackelford of newspaper articles, mostly from the Richmond Times.

Series VI: Oversized Materials, 1943-1985 Series VI contains oversized materials, including newspaper clippings, brochures, and publications, arranged by subject.

Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Special Collections and University Archives in several accruals from 1983 to 1990.

Related Archival Materials

The following related collections are also housed at the Virginia Tech Special Collections and University Archives:

Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Montgomery County Branch Papers, 1754-1996, Ms1962-001

George Green Shackelford Student Papers, 1963-1989, Ms2011-006

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the George Green Shackelford Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the George Green Shackelford Papers was completed in June 2011.

George Green Shackelford Papers, 1899-1990 (Bulk 1955-1989)
Julia Viets, Student Assistant, and Kimberly Staub, Graduate Assistant
2011 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US