This collection (59 items) is made up of correspondence and other items related to Philadelphia resident James Shields, particularly concerning his interest in 19th-century American author Eugene Field.
The Correspondence series (45 items) contains incoming and outgoing letters of James Shields, primarily from July 1917-October 1932. Many are the writers' responses to Shields's inquiries about Eugene Field manuscripts and writings, Field's possible acquaintance with Patrick Lafcadio Hearn, and the possible location of a Field death mask. Some of Shields's correspondents had been personally acquainted with Field. An article about Hearn from The New Republic (October 7, 1972) is enclosed with Shields's draft letter of December 10, 1917. Later items, dated 1939-1942, pertain to a donation that Shields made to the Free Library of Philadelphia and the publications of the Aitkin-Kynett Company.
The Eugene Field Manuscripts (5 items) include fragments of 4 personal letters that Field wrote to his "Aunt Alice" from October 1894-October 1895, mostly about family news. The series also contains a manuscript copy of Field's poem "The Dreams."
The Poetry, Photographs, and Ephemera series (14 items) includes pamphlets containing remarks about Eugene Field by Eugene V. Debs and a brief poem by Field, a manuscript poem about hermit crabs attributed to Francis Sedgwick Child, a brief essay about Ralph A. Lyon, a name card, and other items. The photographs include images of a woman laying flowers on Field's grave and of Francis Wilson playing theatrical parts "Young Rip" and "Old Rip."