A Guide to the Iris Alina Ruiz Collection, 1939-1942

Collection Number SC 5051


Compiled By: Emily Rapavi, February 2013


Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: Iris Alina Ruiz Collection

Collection No.: SC 5051

Creator: Alice Williams Krum

Extent: 1 Hollinger box, 1 Photo Box; 1.00 Linear Feet

Language: English [some written notes in Spanish on the back of photos]

Abstract: This collection consists of materials pertaining to Iris Alina Ruiz during her years as a student at Madison College from 1939-1942.


Administrative Information


Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk. (library-special@jmu.edu).

Preferred Citation: [Identification of Item], Iris Alina Ruiz Collection, 1939-1942, SC 5051, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: The collection was donated in November 2012 by Alice Williams Krum.

Other Formats Available: None


Bio/Historical Note: Iris Alina Ruiz (1921-2010), nicknamed "Titi," was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. At age 17, she arrived in the United States for the very first time to attend Madison College where she studied Elementary Education. During her time at Madison College from 1939-1942, Iris was an active member in various organizations. She served as treasurer for the Spanish Club, typist on "The Breeze" and The School Ma'am Yearbook, Y.W.C.A, Newman Club, Lee Literary Society, and is a lifetime member of Theta Sigma Epsilon.

Upon graduating from Madison College in 1942, Iris married Harry Edward Williams, Jr. whom she met at Madison College. They had four children. Iris later became a successful elementary school teacher and adult education teacher. She was also actively involved in her church and several organizations in her community throughout her life.


Scope and Content:   The Iris Alina Ruiz Collection has been divided into five series. The collection consists of materials gathered by Iris over her years as a Puerto Rican immigrant student at Madison College from 1939-1942. All of the materials were compiled and donated by her oldest daughter, Alice Williams Krum, who also graduated from Madison College in 1966. The materials in the collection depict student life at the women's college in the late 1930's & early 1940's.

Series I consists of a photo collection comprised of three parts. The collection includes 31 student portraits of her friends at college, some of which include written notes on the back of the photos in English and Spanish. The second part of the photo collection is comprised of 62 photos of students and buildings on campus. The third part of the collection contains 57 photos of Madison College events which include formal dances, off campus hiking and beach trips, and graduation ceremony photos.

Series II consists of printed material concerning Harrisonburg (1939-1942). The Harrisonburg Souvenir Book includes maps of Madison College, drawings of campus buildings, and drawings of off-campus sites in the Shenandoah Valley. The Student Handbook from 1941-1942 was presented by the SGA, Y.W.CA, Athletic Association, and other organizations. The introduction includes a letter from President Samuel P. Duke and the Dean of Women, Annie Bailey Cook, to the students. The handbook consists of eight books with information about the college itself, student activities, Student Government Association, Young Women’s Christian Association, Athletic Association, student publications, songs for special occasions, and advertisements.

Series III consists of art sketches drawn in Iris Alina Ruiz’s college art class which include several buildings of the campus, the entrance sign of the university, the cupola of Wilson Hall, residence halls, and her personal items.

Series IV includes a short biography of Iris Alina Ruiz written by the collector of the donated materials.

Series V consists of a foil used in her college fencing class.


The collection is arranged in five series:

Series I: Photographs (1939-1942)

Series II: Printed Material concerning Harrisonburg (1939-1942)

Series III: Art Sketches

Series IV: The Story of Iris Alina Ruiz (“Titi”) - 1921-2010

Series V: Fencing Foil


Series I: Photographs, 1939-1942                                                                        Box: Folder

Student Portraits                                                                                                            1   :  1-31   

On-Campus Photos                                                                                                        1   :  32-94  

Madison College Events                                                                                                 1   :   95-152

[Note: Each photo is contained in a separate photo folder. The written notes on the back of some of the photographs are indicated on the photo folder. Notes are written in English and some in Spanish]

Series II: Printed Material Concerning Harrisonburg, 1939-1942                     

Harrisonburg Souvenir Book                                                                                         1:  1

Student Handbook (1941-1942)                                                                                    1:  2     


Series III: Art Sketches, 1939-1942                                                                                                                                                            

Madison College Sign                                                                                                     2:1

“Henrietta” Doll                                                                                                                2:2                    

Wilson Hall                                                                                                                     2:3         

Dorm Room with Lamp                                                                                                    2:4 

Campus Building                                                                                                            2:5

Cupola of Wilson Hall                                                                                                      2:6

Door of Building                                                                                                               2:7                              

JMU Smoke Stack                                                                                                          2:8

Series IV: The Story of Iris Alina Ruiz (“Titi”)-1921-2010                                              2:1


Series V: Fencing Foil                                                                                                  3: n/a