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Ellen Frank Armentrout Papers

Identifier: SC 0064

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Ellen Frank Armentrout Papers, 1961-1963, are comprised of facsimiles of one essay on adjusting to college life, seven letters to her parents, and 15 photographs from Armentrout’s time as a student at Madison College including May Day celebrations and dorm rooms. The materials originated from Armentrout’s scrapbook which she loaned to Special Collections for selective digitization.


  • 1961-1964


Access Restrictions

Collection open to 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 Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Ellen Frank Armentrout (b. 1943), daughter of John W. and Edith Baldwin Frank of Arlington, Virginia, matriculated into Madison College in the fall of 1961. Her freshman roommate was Maryanne Matthews. Armentrout served as Recreation Chairman of the Wesley Foundation and graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree. She married Donald Lee “Jack” Armentrout of Keezletown, Virginia in 1964. He attended Madison College as a day student and served as the sports editor of The Breeze. Many of Armentrout’s letters home to her parents describe her courtship with Jack.


0.12 cubic feet (3 letter folders)

Language of Materials



The Ellen Frank Armentrout Papers, 1961-1964, are comprised of facsimiles of one essay, seven letters, and 15 photographs from Armentrout’s time as a student at Madison College.


The collection is arranged in two series. Both series are arranged chronologically.

  1. Papers, 1961-1963
  2. Photographs, 1962-1964

Acquisition Information

During the spring of 2004, Ellen Frank Armentrout loaned her Madison College scrapbook to Dr. Phil Bigler, formerly of the James Madison Center, who passed it along to Pam Brock, former editor of Montpelier magazine, who forwarded it to Chris Bolgiano, former Special Collections Librarian. Bolgiano requested permission to copy the papers and photographs for inclusion in Special Collections. Armentrout granted permission to have the materials copied and the scrapbook was returned on May 5, 2004.

Location of Originals

Original papers and photographs are retained by the donor.

Other Formats Available

Low-resolution digital surrogates of the photographs are available for research (see below). Armentrout’s September 1962 photograph of her dorm room in Sheldon Hall is also available at JMU Historic Photos Online.


  • The Breeze, May 11, 1962. Harrisonburg (Va.): Madison College.
  • The Breeze, September 10, 1964. Harrisonburg (Va.): Madison College.

Processing Information

The materials in this collection were loaned to Special Collections in the spring of 2004 for digitization. The letters were photocopied and the photographs were digitized at a low resolution. Photocopies of the letters and printouts of the photographs are available for research. Low-resolution digital surrogates of the photographs are also available (see below). In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SU 2004-0505.

A Guide to the Ellen Frank Armentrout Papers, 1961-1964
Tiffany Cole
March 2017
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