Currin V. Shields papers, 1960-1984
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Brief Description:

The four boxes of Currin V. Shields papers are associated with his activities in the consumer movement from 1966-1984. They also reflect Marjorie Shields' involvement in consumer affairs, especially the Arizona Dairy Products Litigation that extended to 1986. Papers describing Shields' career as an educator and his political activities (he was the Democratic candidate for governor of Arizona in 1970) are not included in the collection.

The Shields papers are organized into four separate series thereby preserving, for the most part, the order in which they were maintained by Shields and received by the Consumer Movement Archives at KSU.

A few minor adjustments in the arrangement were made to facilitate labeling and access. For example, in the Arizona Consumers Council series the financial documents and typed reports were separated into individual sub-series. In addition, groups of printed material were brought together in the fourth series. Currin Shields was a national figure in the consumer movement. He was president of the Arizona Consumers Council in from 1969 to 1980, and the organizer of the Conference of Consumer Organizations in 1973. He directed the National Consumer Affairs Internship Program, National Consumer Symposium, and Consumer Affairs Seminar. His papers document his association with these organizations and the consumer issues both he and the groups addressed.

The first series, Arizona Consumers Council (1966-1984), is housed in two document boxes and comprises the largest series in the collection. It is divided into four subseries; correspondence, general files, financial documents and reports. The items are in chronological order within each subseries. The correspondence and general files constitute all but three of the folders in this series. Dr. Shields maintained the ACC correspondence and general files in separate notebooks, although their contents are similar. The major difference between the two is the correspondence series contains Shields' individual letters and documents regarding the ACC and his activities, while the general files include correspondence, minutes, surveys, membership data, annual and board meeting documents and miscellaneous material related to the affairs of the organization.

The general files can be described as the central office files for the ACC while Shields was president from 1969-1980. Both sub-series contain papers dealing with the major consumer issues the ACC was confronting including the following: consumer protection program for Arizona, consumer fraud, unit pricing regulations, energy and environment, public utility rates, milk and bread prices, food price fixing, labeling and dating of perishable foods, national meat boycotts, food sale tax, aging, group health plans, Arizona Consumers cooperative store, anti-trust suit against bakeries, price fixing suit against Tuscon Cement Co., and bicycle safety.

The ACC correspondence contains letters between Shields and the following consumer leaders: Erma Angevine, Carol Tucker, Lee Richardson, Ester Peterson, and Edwin Palumbo; Arizona senators and representatives (Douglas S. Holsclaw, Helen Grace Carlson, David B. Stone, Manuel Pena and Anna J. Cullinan); consumer groups in other states, state and local government officials, national organizations such as the Consumer Federation of American, and federal agencies including the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Federal Energy Administration, and Federal Trade Commission. The remaining ACC subseries contain financial documents for 1977-1978 and seven typed reports on consumer issues, 1972-1976.

The second series of the Shields papers, Arizona Dairy Products Litigation, contains four files of legal documents and correspondence regarding a class action suit against four major dairies for violation of antitrust laws (1974-1976; 1986-1987). The class action was a partial result of the bread and milk price surveys conducted by the Arizona Consumers Council in the 1970s. Currin and Marjorie Shields were plaintiffs in the case. The litigation continued after Dr. Shields' death and the files indicate Mrs. Shields involvement, including settlements in favor of the plaintiffs.

Material associated with the Conference of Consumer Organizations (COCO) is contained in series three. It is stored in 21 folders and covers the years 1973-1975. The series was kept in its original order of three related sub-series; correspondence, general and steering committee. The entire series reflects the formation and early years of COCO and Shields' direct involvement with establishing the organization and service as chairman. Related organizations represented in the COCO series include: National Symposium on Consumer Movement, numerous state consumer organizations, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Arizona Consumers Council, and National Consumers Congress. Individual correspondents include: Colston E. Warne, Roy Kiesling, Patricia Van Betten, Lynn B. Jordan, William Fasse, Eileen Hoats, Janet Ann Hutchinson, Robert McEwen, William Pate, Helen E. Nelson, Ellen Zawel, Arline Mathews, Louis Meyer and Henry E.K. Lee. COCO documents consist of by-laws, minutes, reports, membership data, financial statements and correspondence.

The fourth series of the Shields' papers contains printed material divided into four sub-series as follows: Conference of Consumer Organizations, National Consumer Affairs Internship Program, National Symposium on Consumer Movement/National Consumer Symposium, and Consumer Affairs Seminar. The COCO sub-series contains two folders of its monthly newsletter, Intercom, for the years 1974-78.

The National Consumer Affairs Internship Program was initiated by Shields in 1975. Originally a joint project between COCO and the American Council on Consumer Interests. It was chartered as a separate non-profit educational corporation in the State of Arizona in 1978. The six folders (1975-1983) contain brochures, articles of incorporation, internship descriptions, application procedures, membership lists, and newsletters.

Printed items describing the National Symposium on the Consumer Movement (1973-1975)/ National Consumer Symposium (1976-1979) make up the third sub-series. This annual conference was directed by Shields as part of the Community Services Center, Division of Continuing Education, University of Arizona. The material consists of descriptions of the symposium, programs, and lists of speakers and registrants. The Consumer Affairs Seminar (4th sub-series) was also conducted by the Community Services Center at the University of Arizona. Each of the five seminars from 1976 to 1980 is described in a folder of printed material.

Held at:
Morse Department of Special Collections
Email: libsc [at]
Created by: Shields, Currin V. (1918-1984)
Volume: 2.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: 00/00/1987. The Currin V. Shields Papers are identified as University Archives accession number 100 and later revised to number, PC 1988.26. Processing of the papers was completed by Anthony R. Crawford in March 1988. Related collections in the Consumer Movement Archives include: Richard L. D.Morse Papers, Louis Meyer Papers, and the Consumer Education Resource Network Records.
Arrangement: The papers are contained in four document boxes (1.6 linear feet) and span the years 1966-1987. They are organized in the following series, 1) Arizona Consumers Council, 1966-1984, 2) Arizona Dairy Products Litigation, 1974-1987, 3) Conference of Consumer Organizations, 1973-1975, and 4) Printed Material, 1974-1982. The collection contains correspondence, memoranda, minutes, reports, legal and financial documents, newspaper clippings, brochures and newsletters.
Biographical Note for Shields, Currin V. (1918-1984) :

1918          Born, LaPorte, IN

1937-1938    Advertising art dept., Chicago Tribune

1939-1941    Research assistant, Legislative Council, Nebraska

1941          A.B. degree, University of Nebraska

1941-1943    Research assistant, political science dept., University of Wisconsin

1943          Ph.M. degree, University of Wisconsin

1943-1944    Assistant to director, Civil Affairs Training School

1944-1946    2nd lietenant, U.S. Army

1946-1947    Assistant in instruction, Cowles fellow, political science dept., Yale University

1948-1950    Instructor, Yale University

1950          Ph.D., degree, Yale University

1950-1960    Assistant and associate professor, political science dept., UCLA

1953-1955    22nd Congressional District, Democratic Council of California

1953-1955    Host, radio program, "What's the Issue?" station KFWB, Hollywood

1953-1961    Consultant, legislative education program, United Steelworkers of America

1955-1957    Co-chairman, political action committee, California Democratic Council

1958          Author, Democracy and Catholicism in America

1959-1960    Consultant, National Endowment for the Humanities

1960          Married Marjorie Miller Rowe (second marriage)

1960-1984    Professor, Department of Government, University of Arizona

1963-1972    Director, Institute of Government Research, University of Arizona

1968          Democratic candidate for governor of Arizona

1969-1974    Board member, Consumer Federation of America

1969-1980    President, Arizona Consumers Council

1970          Platform Committee, Democratic Party of Arizona

1972-1984    Director, Community Services Center, Univ. of Arizona

1973-1975    Member, consumer advisory committee, Federal Energy Commission

1975-1979    Member, National Advertising Review Board

1974-1977    Chairman, National Conference of Consumer Organizations

1975-1978    Director, Group Health of Arizona

1976-1984    Member, President's Consumer Advertising Council

1976-1984    Director, National Consumer Affairs Internship Program

1977-1984    Director, National Consumer Symposium, Inc.

1984          Died, April 25 (Age 66)

Access Restrictions: No restrictions.
Subject Index
Consumer movement
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions:

The literary rights of the unpublished writings of Currin Shields have been transferred to the University Archives of Kansas State University. There are no restrictions regarding access to the papers.

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as the apply.

Acquisition Notes: Donated by Mrs. Marjorie Shields in 1987  Donation.
PreferredCitation: Currin V. Shields Papers, Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.