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Musical archive of R.L. Shields (d. 1986)


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The archive comprises Shields’ own compositions and accompaniments to traditional songs. It also contains manuscripts of music composed by others, most notably Louis Émié.Two of Shields's most considerable works are not present in this archive: the Variations for orchestra which won him the Foley Prize and the String quartet in E flat minor which was recorded shortly before his death by an RCM quartet.


  • Creation: 1916-1971, n.d.


1.0 Linear metre (7 physical shelfmarks)

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Mus. b.447].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Mus. b. 447-451, MSS. Photogr. b. 174 and c. 572, fols. 1-3

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 9709


Original compositions and accompaniments to traditional songs by R.L. Shield and others.

Biographical / Historical

According to his executor, E. E. Thomas (1918-1996) Shields studied composition at the Royal College of Music, with John Ireland and Charles Wood. At RCM he won the Foley Prize for composition tying with Michael Tippett. He then gained three doctorates: in English, Divinity and Music (the latter from the University of Oxford, probably Jesus College, in 1935). A year later he was appointed Chaplain of King’s College, London. Between 1937 and 1941 he held the position of an organist and lecturer in music at King’s. In 1943 he became Rector of St John the Baptist (Anglican) Church, Lound, Suffolk. Shields gave many organ recitals and taught piano as well as organ. One of his outstanding pupils was Dorothy Wright. Shields also lectured widely on religious topics, English literature, musical history and theory and on gardening. Later, he converted to Catholicism and continued his ministry as Father Alban Linton Shields. He died on 28 September 1986 in Eastbourne where he is buried at a Catholic cemetery.


Original compositions preceed collections unless both are original, in which case collections precede individual works. Titled works are in alphabetical order and generic titles are in chronological order with undated compositions at end. Larger instrumental works follow the order of the size of scoring from larger to smaller.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Edward Eastaway Thomas, February 1993.

Catalogue of the musical archive of R.L. Shields, 1916-1971
Finding aid prepared by Margaret Czepiel
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom