Special Collections and Archives

Bea McPherson papers

Repository: Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.
Title: Bea McPherson papers
Inclusive Date(s): 1935-1993
Bulk Date(s): 1940-1993
Author: Finding aid prepared by Edith Serkownek
Creation: Finding aid encoded by Edith Serkownek using the OhioLINK EAD Application in 2011
Origination: McPherson, Bea
Extent: 1 cubic feet (3 boxes = 1 document case, 1 slim document case and 1 small newspaper box)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Finding Aid Identifier: OhKeUSC0125
Abstract: This collection, dating from 1935-1993 includes material relating to Bea (Shaheen) McPherson's career as a student at Kent State University (1940-1943). The collection also includes material relating to McPherson's organization of reunions of the Military Mapping Corps, a group of women recruited from colleges to work for the Army Map Service during World War II.
Language(s): The records are in English

Biography of Bea McPherson

Originally from Canton, Ohio, Bea (Shaheen) McPherson, attended Kent State University from 1940 to 1943. As a senior elementary education and geography major, McPherson was recruited by her geography professor to receive special training. The training consisted of a 60-hour course in the basics of military mapmaking. With the approval of the US Department of Education and Civil Service Commission in 1942, the course was taught at numerous college campuses in order to quickly train and recruit the large numbers of employees needed for the Army Map Service's wartime efforts. Through these courses approximately 200 women from campuses all over the East and Midwest were recruited into the Army Map Service in 1942-1943. Upon graduation McPherson reported for work to the Service in Washington, D.C., and she continued to work as a mapmaker for the remainder of World War II. This group of women eventually became known as the Military Mapmaking Corps, the Military Mapmaking Maids or the 3M Girls.

Following the war, McPherson left the Service eventually moving back to Hartville, Ohio, with her husband James W. McPherson Jr. McPherson has continued to be active as a KSU alum, particularly as an early supporter and organizer of the KSU Museum, and she has also organized three Military Mapmaking Corps reunions.

Scope and Content

This collection includes material relating to Bea (Shaheen) McPherson as a Kent State University student (1940-1943) and active alum and includes a mathematics textbook McPherson used as a student and a scrapbook that McPerson kept during this period. The scrapbook includes ephemera relating to college life and activities including sorority and fraternity parties, theatrical events, area restaurant menus and newspaper clippings. Additional material in this collection relates to McPherson's service as a mapmaker for the Army Map Service during World World War II. McPherson organized reunions of the Military Mapmaking Corps members in 1968, 1976 and 1993. Reunion material includes correspondence, planning documents, publicity, photographs and Defense Mapping Agency promotional materials.

Statement of Arrangement

The Bea McPherson papers are divided into series as follows:
Series 1: Kent State University Related Material
Series 2: Military Mapmakers Related Material

Related Material

Further information concerning Bea McPherson's KSU Museum-related activities can be found in the Bea McPherson, KSU Museum and Fashion School papers.

Preferred Citation

Bea McPherson papers. Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives.

Acquisition Information

Bea McPherson donated this collection to Kent State University's Special Collection's and Archives in 2011.


"WWII History of the Army Map Service." Topographic Maps of Eastern Europe. N.p., 2008. Web. 1 Jul 2011.

Subject Headings
The following subjects are found in this collection:

McPherson, Bea--Archives
World War, 1939-1945--Cartography
United States. Army Map Service
Kent State University
United States. Army Map Service
Cartography--Study and teaching
College students
Material Types:
Personal papers
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Kent State University Related Material, 1935-1992
Box 1 / Folder 1
Textbook: Outlines for Methods in Arithmetic by Raymond Manchester, Copyright 1935
Box 1 / Folder 2
RESTRICTED: Student materials, 1941
Restrictions on Use
Box 2 / Folder 1
Scrapbook: McPherson's KSU student scrapbook including University theater and dance programs, school election materials, area restaurant menus, newspaper clippings and other ephemera, 1940-1943
Restrictions on Access
Scrapbook in poor physical condition, access provided with supervision
Box 2 / Folder 2
Scrapbook loose material: K Books, 1940-1941 and 1941-1942
Box 2 / Folder 3
Scrapbook loose material, 1940-1943
Box 2 / Folder 4
Kent magazines including alumni information regarding McPherson and Military Mapmaker reunions, January 1969 and January 1976
Box 2 / Folder 5
Carol Cartwright inauguration material: Inaugural program and Kent Alumni newsletter, 1991-1992

Series 2: Military Mapmakers Related Material, 1968-1993
Scope and Content
McPherson organized WWII Military Mapmaker reunions in Washington, D.C. in 1968, 1976 and 1993.
Box 3 / Folder 1
Scrapbook: Military Mapmakers reunion material including correspondence, newspaper clippings and photographs, 1968 and 1976
Box 3 / Folder 2
Scrapbook loose material: Military Mapmakers reunion material including attendance lists, correspondence, photographs and ephemera, 1968
Box 3 / Folder 3
Scrapbook loose material: Military Mapmakers reunion material including correspondence, photographs and press releases, 1976
Box 3 / Folder 4
Hoover Remembers World War II Exhibit material: Hoover Historical Center exhibit material including newspaper clippings, promotional materials and planning documents, 1990
Box 3 / Folder 5
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Congressional Proclamation celebrating the WWII Military Mapmaking Corps women (photocopy) and related correspondence with Congressman Ralph Regula, 1993
Box 3 / Folder 6
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Correspondence, 1992-1993
Box 3 / Folder 7
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Correspondence, 1992-1993
Box 3 / Folder 8
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Defense Mapping Agency (formerly the Army Map Service) folder with promotional and informational materials, 1993
Box 3 / Folder 9
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Newspaper clippings and newsletter articles, 1993
Box 3 / Folder 10
Military Mapmakers reunion material: Photographs, 1993
Box 3 / Folder 11
Military Mapmakers material: World map, newspaper clippings and photocopied documents, Miscellaneous dates