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Virginia Elizabeth Tisdale Fenlon Scrapbook

Identifier: SC 0179

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Virginia Elizabeth Tisdale Fenlon Scrapbook, 1925-1930, consists of one scrapbook and one folder of photographs contained in one box. The folder contains photos of Virginia Tisdale Fenlon when she was a child, as well as while attending HSTC. The scrapbook is made out of a purple felt cover with orange lettering on the front. In script is written "Memories" and "STC" for State Teachers College. The contents of the scrapbook are mounted on black paper pages and consist of letters, telegrams, dance cards, May Day programs, the sophomore edition of The Breeze from May 28, 1927, place settings, invitations, a Cotillion Club banner, and a page covered in stamps from various letters Mrs. Fenlon received. Many of the pages include notes and captions written directly onto the pages. There are also a small number of black and white photographs and postcards. A large part of the scrapbook is reflective of her early years in Fredericksburg, Virginia as an elementary school teacher.


  • 1925-1934


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Virginia Elizabeth Tisdale (Fenlon) was born in Chase City, Virginia (Mecklenburg County) on September 19, 1908 to George and Eliza Tisdale. She graduated from the professional courses at the State Teachers College in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1927. While attending HSTC Mrs. Fenlon was the Society Editor for The Breeze; secretary of the Lanier Literary Society; Chairman of the Program Committee for the Lanier Literary Society; a member of the Cotillion Club, Choral Club, Athletic Association and the Y.W.C.A. Her inscription in the 1927 School Ma'am reads: "A lovely being, scarcely formed or moulded, A rose with all its sweetest leaves yet folded." Pasted into her scrapbook is a printed quote which reads: "Virginia Tisdale's motto: Never let your studies interfere with your education." Upon graduating in 1927 Mrs. Fenlon accepted an elementary teaching position in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She married John Llewellyn Fenlon on March 24, 1937. Their daughter Jane, was born on July 8, 1940, in Richmond, Virginia. During World War II, the family was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. Shortly thereafter, they returned to Virginia, first to Richmond, then settling again in Fredericksburg by 1947, where Mrs. Fenlon then taught until retiring in 1968. She passed away on May 29, 1972. In 1994, Jane Fenlon Rowe established the Fenlon Memorial Scholarship in honor of her mother, Virginia Tisdale Fenlon, and Ada Virginia Pollock Fenlon, her stepmother. The scholarship is for students studying Early Childhood education.


0.4 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of one scrapbook Fenlon compiled during her years at the State Teachers College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, along with one folder of photographs of Fenlon taken during her childhood and while attending HSTC.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Jane Fenlon Rowe, April 2008.

Separated Material

1926 and 1927 editions of the School Ma'am donated with the scrapbook were shelved with yearbooks in Special Collections.


  • School Ma'am, 1927.
  • AN 93-0916 Commencement programs; 1910 - present; June 8, 1927 Program

Processing Notes

The scrapbook was cleaned and remains intact. Preservation recommends that dismantling and contents migration be considered for long-term storage due to the inherent instability of the supports.

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in 2017-2018. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 4058.

A Guide to the Virginia Elizabeth Tisdale Fenlon Scrapbook, 1925-1934
Heather Browne
July 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

880 Madison Drive
MSC 1704
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612