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Office of Public Affairs press releases

Identifier: UA 0003
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

The Office of Public Affairs Records consists of 25 boxes of press releases that are separated by general press releases and sports press releases. These press releases contain announcements of events on campus, general news items, results from athletic competitions, university budgets, Marching Royal Dukes news, etc. While the press releases are separated by content (sports and general), some press releases created by the sports information office may be interfiled with general press releases.


  • Creation: 1969 - 1984


Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Collection is open for research. 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 (

Administration History

James Madison University’s Public Relations Department, now known as University Marketing and Branding, was created in 1967, headed by Richard C. Mandeville and overseen by the executive assistant to the president. The creation of this department was part of the major reorganization of the college in 1967 and one of its main concerns was information services. The Public Relations Department became the Department of Public Services in 1972. This department was headed by Ray V. Sonner, who oversaw the Office of Public Information which was responsible for sending press releases and pictures to off-campus media including the Daily News-Record. In 1973, sports information and public information each became a distinct office under the Department of Public Services. In 1976, the offices of sports information and public information were combined. Throughout this time, Sonner supervised the Department of Public and Sports Information, headed by Richard Murray and Milla Sue Wisecarver. Since 1984, the office that directed the public relations of the university has changed names many times.


8.25 cubic feet (25 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection consists of press releases created by the Office of Public Affairs including the Office of Sports News. The press releases announce university and student related news and primarily concern major projects, construction, changes to the curriculum, budget and financials, events, and sports.


The collection is arranged in the following series. All series are arranged chronologically.

  1. General Press Releases, 1969-1984
  2. Sports Press Releases, 1972-1984

Acquisition Information

Sixty-two binders of press releases were transferred by Fred Hilton of JMU Communications in September 1987. Other offices in Wilson Hall presumably contributed to the transfer though specific provenance is unclear.

Processing Information

Collection was minimally processed in June 2015 by Emily Rheault under the collection number PR 87-0922. Collection fully reprocessed in October 2022 under the collection number UA 0003. At this time, two boxes of duplicate press releases and photocopied newspaper clippings were deaccessioned. Approximately 64 scrapbooks comprising newspaper clippings were also deaccessioned. The contents of the newspaper clippings is duplicated in the press releases and newspaper holdings within Carrier Library.



A Guide to the Office of Public Affairs Press Releases, 1969-1984
Emily Rheault, Grace Thomsen
June 2015, October 2022
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