A recently donated collection of alumni papers is now available for research! Pearl Haldeman Stickley’s great nephew, William M. Beck of Fredericksburg, donated his aunt’s scrapbooks to JMU Special Collections last week. The scrapbooks – full of concert and theater programs, ticket stubs, report cards, Valentines, commencement programs, and quippy annotations – document Pearl’s time as a student at and alumni of the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Harrisonburg.
While the summer is generally less hectic on campus due to fewer students, less traffic, etc., here in Special Collections we have been busy, busy, busy growing our collections in materials related to local history. A new acquisition we are really excited about relates to the Richard Stephens (1831-1890) family of Melrose, just north of Harrisonburg on Rt. 11. The collection itself is comprised of hundreds of miscellaneous documents, correspondence, receipts, deeds, and indentures and spans several generations of the Stephens/Dovel/Yount families of Rockingham County. Of particular interest, are several documents pertaining to Richard Stephens’ medical exemption from serving in the Civil War. We are spotlighting one such document today. But be warned – detailed descriptions of disease and oozy discharge await the reader.
We’re happy to announce that one of our most recent (and significant) acquisitions is currently undergoing processing. In early April 2017, we acquired several boxes of manuscript material including photographs, correspondence, ledgers, and scrapbooks from the estate of Mary Hutton of Elkton . Mary Hutton was a graduate of Madison College and descendant of Charles L. Davis (1874-1960) of Singers Glen. This collection, when fully arranged and described, will contribute greatly to the study of three generations of local families – Davis, Kline, and Hutton -, Rockingham County history, and the history of James Madison University.