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Personal Papers of Sheelagh Jefferies, 1934 - 1998

Reference Code: GBR/0271/GCPP Jefferies

Scope and Contents

The material listed here comprises chiefly papers relating to Sheelagh Jefferies' education in Cambridge and the USA and to her career in the Civil Service, together with a number of photographs. Each section is arranged chronologically.


  • Creation: 1934 - 1998


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright in material written by Sheelagh Jefferies is presumed to be held by her heir/s.

Biographical / Historical

Sheelagh Jefferies was born on 25 August 1926 at Harrogate, the daughter of Norman Jefferies, licensed victualler, and Vera Bradley. She was educated at Harrogate Girls’ School before coming to Girton College to study history, 1944-47. From 1947-50 she was a researcher at Chatham House, independent policy institute in London, also known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. [The Girton College Register describes her as Archivist to the Royal Institute of International Affairs in this period.]
Sheelagh then undertook graduate studies at Smith College, Massachusetts in the academic year 1950-51, writing a thesis on Anglo-American relations between the wars. On her return, there was a period during which she appears to have considered journalism amongst other options, but she ultimately became a civil servant for the remainder of her career, with successive posts as follows: Information Officer, Central Office of Information [COI], 1953-60; Press Officer, Prime Minister’s Office, 1961-67; Principal Information Officer, Privy Council Office, 1967-69; Chief Press Officer, Ministry of Housing and Local Government [1969-71?]; Head of Parliamentary Liaison Unit, Department of the Environment, 1971-74; Chief Information Officer, Department of Prices, 1974-77; Director, Overseas Press and Radio, COI, 1977-78; Controller (Home) of the COI, 1978-83; Deputy Director General, COI, 1983 to 1987; and Acting Director General, COI, January-June 1987.
Sheelagh Jefferies was awarded the CBE in 1988. She died on 22 May 2014. [Notes derived chiefly from Girton College Register Vol. II, also from the papers listed here and from Who’s Who.]


1 archive box(es)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the estate of Sheelagh Jefferies, November 2021.


Jefferies, Sheelagh

Repository Details

Part of the Girton College Archive Repository

The Archivist
Girton College Archive
Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0JG United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338897