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William W. Thomas papers

 Collection
Identifier: SC 0227

  • Staff Only

Content Description

The collection comprises the papers related to Dr. William W. Thomas' teaching career at James Madison University where he was a professor from 1971 to 2003. Early papers document Thomas' own undergraduate and graduate coursework. The collection includes lecture notes, syllabi and course descriptions, correspondence, tenure and promotion materials, and materials related to Thomas' advising of student organizations.

Dates

  • 1954 - 2004

Creator

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 not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. Staff have taken special care to identify and remove sensitive materials, particularly those relating to students’ academic records, found within this collection. However, in rare instances, privacy protected information may be revealed during use of this collection. Researchers agree to make no notes or other recordation of privacy protected information if found within this collection, and further agree not to publish or disclose such information for any purpose. Researchers agree to alert Special Collections staff if potentially privacy protected information is found within this collection. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Biographical Note

Dr. William W. Thomas (1933-2008) was a professor of religion and philosophy at James Madison University from 1971 to 2003 when he officially retired. He was a certified reverend and served as an advisor to Theta Alpha Kappa, Honors Religious Studies Fraternity; and Intervarsity; as well as Phi Sigma Kappa, Philosophy Honors Fraternity. Dr. Thomas received his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Lee University, where he reached Cum Laude in 1954. He then received his master’s degree from Yale University in 1957, and his doctorate from Duke University in 1964. He first began his career teaching at the Lindenwood Colleges and later taught summer sessions at Bridgewater College.

Extent

2.15 cubic feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The collection comprises the papers related to Dr. William W. Thomas' teaching career at James Madison University.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into two series with Series 2: Professional Service and Activities including a sub-group dedicated to William Thomas' responsibilities related to Theta Alpha Kappa. Each series is arranged chronologically.

  1. Teaching and Scholarship, 1955-2001
  2. Professional Service and Activities, 1954-2004

Provenance

Bridgewater College acquired the collection from the Thomas estate, presumably as a bequest.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred from Bridgewater College. Special Collections staff collected the materials from the Thomas house on S. Main Street, Harrisonburg in July 2010.

Appraisal

In September 2022, approximately six boxes of FERPA-protected student records were deaccessioned and discarded. The records included letters of recommendation, grades, papers, and class lists. The records were primarily paper-based but also included floppy disks.

Tenure and promotion documentation related to faculty other than Thomas, collected as part of Thomas' work on the Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC), was also discarded.

Separated Materials

Published books were separated from the collection and cataloged as part of Special Collections rare book holdings.

Processing Information

The collection was minimally processed in May 2013 by Chelsea Tholen under the collection number SC 5058. A copy of the original finding aid is located in the collection control file. In October 2022, the collection was reprocessed, FERPA-protected student records were deaccessioned, and the collection was renumbered to SC 0227.

Contents of folders were combined when appropriate.

Title
A Guide to the William W. Thomas Papers, 1954-2004
Status
Completed
Author
Chelsea Tholen, Tiffany Cole
Date
May 2013, October 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2022-10-06: In October 2022, the collection was reprocessed, FERPA-protected student records were deaccessioned, and the collection was renumbered to SC 0227.

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

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