Alumni scrapbook provides documentary (and physical) evidence of building’s christening

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.

Q&A with Yoon Ji Kim on processing the Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection

Special Collections Graduate Student Assistant, Yoon Ji Kim, has recently completed processing The Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection. A portion of the comic books were donated in 2015 by Dr. Brian Flota, Humanities Librarian at James Madison University, and became the Brian Flota Comic Book Collection. In 2016, Flota donated a collection of over 7,000 comics owned by his father, Bradley Flota, expanding the original collection to over 9,700 comic books. This collection contains a wide selection of comic book and magazine genres from major publishers such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics, as well as independent publishers. Thanks to Kim’s efforts, the comic books are fully inventoried, housed individually in acid-free paper folders, and available to the public.               Can you describe the process of working with these comics? What was the condition of the comic books when you started the project, and what did you do to get them into their final state? The process was a long one as it took a good amount of the year. Most of the comics were in good condition but many were inside sticky plastic bags. By removing the comic books from the Continue reading Q&A with Yoon Ji Kim on processing the Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection

The Blackley Brownie in Focus

Written by Preservation Assistant Madison Whitesell. Brownie cameras gave birth to amateur photography in the early 20th century. This one from the Blackley Collection is a No. 2 Folding Autographic Brownie dating from 1917-1926 and it’s in especially great shape. First produced in 1900, early Brownies were made of cardboard and the cheap material allowed them to be sold for only $2.00. Ours is a later edition made from aluminum and would have been costlier but longer lasting. Because these new cameras were inexpensive and small they could be used by anyone and were even marketed towards children. Soldiers often took them overseas because they were easy to carry and use in the field. No one had never seen anything like them and incredible accessibility of this new photography tool revolutionized news and the way people saw the world.

Procrastinate with Special Collections: The Audie Tilghman Papers

Happy Exam Week Eve! In the spirit of procrastination and putting off studying for finals, here’s a gem from the archives from an overworked, homesick student like yourself. May you feel a sense of solidarity in the fact that students have always dreaded finals.