New Shenandoah Valley Historical Collections Added in 2022

Posted on: February 23, 2023

JMU Libraries Special Collections is our repository for rare, irreplaceable, unique, or otherwise valuable materials. Our special collections are mainly focused on the history of the Central Shenandoah Valley and JMU, and in the last year, we’ve processed three notable collections that are now available to researchers:

  1. The Agnes Davis Shipley Papers, 1936, comprise examples of sewing techniques and coursework created by Agnes Davis Shipley during her time as a student at the State Teachers College at Harrisonburg/Madison College. The coursework was created as part of Home Economics 131: Clothing, a course that provided a thorough drill in the principles of clothing construction on both hand and machine work with special emphasis on the use of the sewing machine and its attachments as well as the selection, alteration, and use of commercial patterns. The course was taught by Lois Pearman, Associate Professor of Home Economics. Learn more.
  1. The Isaac Long Terrell and Ann Terrell Baker Research on Historic Rockingham County Houses, 1941-2017, comprises research files and notes, newspaper clippings, negatives, and facsimile and original photographs documenting historic houses in Rockingham County, Virginia. The bulk of the research material was originally compiled by Isaac Long Terrell and used as the basis for his book Old Houses in Rockingham County: 1750-1850 (1970). Baker contributed additional photographs and updated research for her follow-up book Old Houses in Rockingham County Revisited: 1750-1850 (2000). Learn more.
  1. The Charles Grattan Price Jr. Collection on Tweetsie and the Shenandoah Central Railroad, 1916-1997 (bulk 1948-1956), comprises correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, printed articles, and promotional materials concerning the purchase of Tweetsie, narrow gauge locomotive #12, and related equipment by the Shenandoah Central Railroad in 1952; the opening of the Tweetsie Route in Penn Laird, Virginia in 1953; and the eventual sale of Tweetsie and equipment in 1955. Learn more.

Information about visiting Special Collections and making appointments for in-person research is available on our Plan A Visit page.

Contact us at or (540) 568-3612 with any questions about these collections or about visiting Special Collections.

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