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James Madison University Historic Photographs

Identifier: UA 0051
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The James Madison University Historic Photographs include photographs taken between 1909-ca. 2000, from the inception of university as the State Normal School for Women at Harrisonburg until the late 1990s. These photos depict notable events, faculty, students, student groups, student activities, building exteriors, building interiors, campus aerials, guest speakers, and everyday life at James Madison University.


  • Creation: 1909-circa 2000

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

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of James Madison University is retained by James Madison University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For more information, contact the Special Collections Reference Desk (

Administrative History

Photographs were donated by multiple sources. Due to the artificial nature of this collection, an administrative history does not apply.


1.8 cubic feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



The James Madison University Historic Photographs, 1909-circa 2000, comprises approximately 1700 photographs that depict notable events, activities, faculty, students, students groups, places, and everyday life at James Madison University and the surrounding community between 1909-ca. 2000.

Acquisition Information

The photographs housed in this collection were contributed to Special Collections by individual donors, collected from JMU organizations and affiliates, or pulled from alumni collections by former Special Collections staff, from 1994-ca. 2007. Known donors include: Inez Roop, Bernice Catherine Jones, Charlotte Michael, Mrs. D. Patrick Snider, Mary Spitzer, Ethel Stevanus, Dr. Daniel McFarland, Craig Baugher, Fred Hilton, Jim Richardson, Milla Sue Wisecarver, and JMU Photography Services.

Other Formats Available

Digitized photographs in this collection can be found here:

Processing Information

In 1997, photographs in Series 1: JMU Historic Photos, 1909-1985, were scanned by Special Collections staff using Index Color, which resulted in a drop in image quality. Subsequently, the photographs in Series 2: JMU Historic Photos, 1985-ca.2000 were also scanned. In the early 2000s, the images were made available as a digital collection online, as the JMU Historic Photographs. In 2018, Digital Collections staff scanned all of the photographs as high resolution TIFFs, and also created JPEGs.

In 1994, Dr. John Woody, professor in the School of Arts Media and Design, instigated a project to scan photographs described as “current to the university" onto CDs, with the intention of making them available for purchase at the Center for Instructive Technology for anyone interested in using JMU photographs for presentations. Many of the photographs originated from the JMU Photography Services’ 35mm slide collection, or were taken by Craig Baugher. A second CD included images of east campus buildings and student activities. These cds were noted as being held in Special Collections in an early online version of the digital photograph collection. However, these cds were not found in 2019, at the time of processing.

A Guide to James Madison University Historic Photographs, 1919-circa 2000
In Progress
Rachel Childers
October 2019
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

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612