Shuford's papers consist of 89 boxes of correspondence, reports, speeches, and memoranda from his office in Washington, 1952-1959. The collection is divided into four main categories according to the filing system used in the Congressman's office. Subjects, persons, and places appear throughout all categories.
The Shuford Papers were in filing drawers when originally cataloged. Later the papers were transferred to many smaller archival boxes. Since it was no longer easy to survey the contents, an informal inventory of the files was compiled by a student assistant. The collection remains in its original folders with their informal and frequently inconsistent labeling.
The correspondence has two divisions. First, there are letters filed alphabetically by names of correspondents (Boxes 1-21). However, each letter of the alphabet also has one or more folders in which the correspondence is filed only according to the first letter of the name. Secondly, there are letters filed chronologically in folders marked "Letters. Legislation" (Boxes 22-23) and "Letters. General" (Boxes 24-28). There are also several folders of letters of congratulations, recommendations, references, and sympathy (Box 28).
Volumes of guest books and an inaugural invitation (1953) are in Box 28.
Speeches and speech material are in Boxes 29-30.
Subject categories occupy Boxes 31-89. The folders are labeled and are filed according to the words underlined on each label. The labeling system was not consistent, and researchers must survey the subject categories for a given subject as well as the correspondence and speeches. Subjects notable for the quantity of material about them are: agriculture, the armed services, atomic energy, elections, civil rights, civil service, Colorado River, commerce, the Constitution, the Democratic Party, education, electric power utilities, finance, fish and wildlife, foreign relations, highways, Indians, the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, irrigation and reclamation, labor (often under education and labor), the judiciary, mines and mining, politics in North Carolina (especially the 12th congressional district for which there are election records on the precinct level), the Post Office, public lands, refugees, small business, the House Ways and Means Committee, tariffs, taxation, TVA, tobacco, veterans affairs, the Territories Subcommittee (Alaska and Hawaii), and water resources.
The chronology within folders is frequently out of order. The letters are not entered in the Autograph File.
2,000 Items added, 1-3-68. This addition to the subject categories of the Shuford Papers is notable for files on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Cherokee Indians, and the Hell's Canyon Legislation.