C. Thomas Shay:

An Inventory of His Papers at the University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Inventory prepared by Vladimira Zvonik

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,

Finding aid encoded by V. Zvonik (2007)
Finding aid written in English.

Collection Summary

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections,
Winnipeg, Manitoba

C. Thomas Shay

C. Thomas Shay fonds

1885 - 2006

52 cm of textual records and 178 photographs

MSS 155, PC 162 (A.06-47)


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Biography of C. Thomas Shay

Dr. Creighton Thomas Shay received his B.A. (1960); M.A. (1965); and Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Minnesota in Anthropology. In 1961-62 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to train and study at the Danish National Museum in Copenhagen. In 1964, he became an instructor in the Extension Division of the University of Minnesota and the following year was appointed an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University. In 1967, Shay took an appointment as a Lecturer at the University of Manitoba, which became an Assistant Professorship in 1970 upon completion of his doctorate. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1972, a rank he held until his retirement in 1993 when he was made a Senior Scholar of the University. Dr. Shay has undertaken research in variety of different areas of anthropology over his career focusing much of his research in ethnobotany and paleobotany in Greece, but more importantly in the northeastern prairies and plains of Canada and the United States, in particular Manitoba and Minnesota. He has published extensively in monographs, refereed journals and local publications. Many of these works were co-authored with his wife, Dr. Jennifer Shay, a former Botany professor at the University of Manitoba and recipient of the Order of Canada for her work on environmental causes. In honour of the contributions that Dr. Shay has made to the University of Manitoba, former students, friends and colleagues established the C. Thomas Shay Scholarship for graduate study in Anthropology in 1993. Dr. Shay was also awarded the Manitoba Prix Award for Heritage Education in 1997. Dr. Shay continues to remain active and his current research interests include human ecology in Western Canada 3000 years ago until 1870; and the human ecology of the Bronze Age in Greece and the Mediterranean.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of biographical information; a personal family history; personal correspondence; correspondence with associates (2004-2005); research projects, notes, and his family history photographs.

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Arrangement of the Papers

This collection is arranged into five series and photograph collection

  • 1. Biographical info
  • 2. Correspondence
  • 3. Research
  • 4. Research/Academic/Correspondence
  • 5. Research/Teaching
  • PC 162 - Photograph Collection

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Custodial History

The fonds was donated to the Department of Archives & Special Collections by C. Thomas Shay in 2006.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Biographical info []
11 Jennifer and Tom Shay Ecological Reserve, 2003-2004

Creation and announcement of the Jennifer and Tom Shay Ecological Reserve by Conservation minister Stan Struthers, November 29, 2004

Personal, Family History 1917-1996
12 Father John W. Shay, Jr., 1917 - 1970
3 Father's Family, 1901-1996

  • Family tree - history
  • Correspondence
  • Newspaper clippings
  • Roosevelt Middle School, 75th Anniversary, 1921-1996

4 Letters from Mark Hogan in Ireland to Samual Dickson in U.S. (translated by Lucille Shay), 1855, 1863, 1865

Father's family

5 Grandparents - Father's Family 1922 -1957

Mary Elizabeth Whittington and John T. Shay - correspondence

6 Father's Family - Archives, 1902-1911

Mary Elizabeth Tapp

7 Lucille Shay, Harriet Shay, and Samuel Dickson - Letters, 1855 - 1970's

Samuel Dickson Letters, 1855, 1863, 1865 - photocopies

8 Wills of Harriet Shay and Lucille Shay, 1969, 1980

includes correspondence, financial statements

9 Mother Emma Shay (nee Heuke), 1928-1992

includes correspondence with Charles, Hearing Aid Centre

10 Mother's Family, 1983-1995
11 Personal/Academic, 1974

(field trip to Teggau Lake, Ontario - Jennifer Shay was a faculty member on the field trip)

  • Handbook for canoe trip to Northern Manitoba, Pointed Stone II, June , 1974
  • Handbooks for Landscape Architecture Masters Field trip to Teggau Lake, April 15-19, 1974

12 University of Minnesota - Botany 165, 1956

course material, notes, pollen analysis

(course taken by T. Shay in 1956)

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Dr. C. T. Shay Scholarship - correspondence, 2003-2005

includes a biographical sketch and a scholarship "Terms of Reference"

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Correspondence 2001-2005
22 Correspondence - Personal, 2003
3 Correspondence - Personal, 2004
4 Correspondence with Jennifer Shay, 2004
5 Correspondence - Personal, 2005
6 Correspondence - Book Donations, 2001-2005


7 Correspondence - Research/Academic 2004
8 Correspondence - Research/Academic, 2005
9 Correspondence - Research, 2004

(Material on Plains Indian Heights by Richard Steckel)

10 Correspondence - re: Prairies Plants and People, 1991-96

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Research 1976-2004
31 PPP - T. Shay's notes for assistants, 1998-2005
2 Naturally Clean Rivers Project, 1985

Organized by Tom Shay, Chair, Urban Environment Committee Manitoba Naturalists society, 1985

3 History of Delta Marsh Project - draft, 2002

(includes research material)

4 Prairie Garden - Herald of Spring: the Prairie Crocus by C. T. Shay, K. Dalton, and K. Kivinen, 2003-2006

includes research material

5 Research Paper - Food Plants of Manitoba - tables, background information, 1979 -1980

includes research material and correspondence

6 Prehistoric Fire Ecology in Southeastern Manitoba, 1972 -1976

(project outline and notes)

7 Prehistoric Fire Ecology in Southeastern Manitoba, 1976

(core data)

8 Prehistoric Fire Ecology in Southeastern Manitoba, 1976

(core logs)

41 Prehistoric Fire Ecology in Southeastern Manitoba, 1958 -1976

(forest fire statistics plus Nested Analysis of Variance)

2 Early Holocene fish fauna and climate based on fossils from the Siebold Site, ND, 2003-2004

(T. Shay contributed data on pollen analysis of sediments and charcoal counts)

3 Research Paper Presentation - Ethnobotanical Reflections on the Northern Plains, 1980's

(tables - transparencies)

4 Prairie-Forest: Reports by J. Alger, 1980's

(Northeast Plains Ethnobotany)

5 Research Prairie-Forest Border: Notes by S. Bradford, 1980's

(Northeast Plains Ethnology)

6 Field trips to the Upper and Lower Fort Garry by T. Shay and student assistants, 2003
7 Research - Computer correspondence, 2004

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Research/Academic/Correspondence 1981-2005
48 re: Upper Fort Garry, 1981-86
9 Correspondence with Sara Stephens, 2003 - 2004
10 Correspondence with Amy Fay, 2004
11 Correspondence with Christina Jean Nesbitt, 2005
12 Correspondence with Cole Wilson, 2004-2005
13 Correspondence with Eddie Powell, 2004
14 Correspondence with Elaine Stocki, 2004-2005
15 Correspondence with Elise den Heyer and Ginna Berg, 2004-2005
16 Correspondence with Karen Kivinen, 2004-2005
51 Correspondence with Kimberly Dalton, 2004-2005
2 Correspondence with Sara Halwas and Kirsten ?, 2004
3 Correspondence with Teija Dedi, 2004-2005

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Research/Teaching, 1980's
54 Riverbottom Forest - Class Assignment, 1980's

University of Manitoba

5 Riverbottom Forest Survey for Urban Environment Committee of Manitoba Naturalists, 1985

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PC 162 (A.06-47) - Personal Family History 1885 - 1990's
11 Family photographs, 1885-1933


1 Family photographs, 1885-1933


2 Family photographs, 1934 -39


3 Family photographs, 1940-49


4 Family photographs, 1950-59


5 Family photographs, 1960-69


6 Family photographs, 1970-94


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