Bibliography of JMU History

James Madison University, 1908 – 1959, An Annotated Historical Timeline, Researched and Written by L. Sean Crowley, 2006

Since its establishment by the Virginia legislature in 1908 as a school to train public school teachers, this institution has had five names:

  • State Normal and Industrial School for Women (1908)
  • State Normal School for Women (1914)
  • State Teachers College (1924)
  • Madison College (1938)
  • James Madison University (1977)

The first day of classes was September 30, 1909, with total enrollment for the first year of 209. The first graduating class in June, 1911 numbered twenty. The school became fully coeducational in 1966.

Not all of the school’s previous names are used as subjects in JMU Libraries Catalog, but there are subject entries under the following that may be useful:

  • State Normal School for Women (Harrisonburg, Va.)
  • Madison College — History
  • James Madison University. There are many sub-entries under JMU that might be useful, including:
    • History — 20th century
    • Faculty Women’s Caucus — History
    • Presidents — 20th century
    • Shenandoah Hall — History
    • Statistics


Dawson, Susan E.  James Madison University: An Environmental History.  Harrisonburg, VA:  JMU, 2000.   LD3141.M56652 D39 2000  shelved in Stacks and Special Collections.

Dingledine, Raymond C. Madison College: The First Fifty Years, 1908-1958. Harrisonburg, VA: Madison College, 1959. LD 3141.M566l.D55 shelved in stacks, Reference, and Spec. Coll.

Garrett, Kenneth. Then and Now: James Madison University. Louisville, KY: Harmony House, 1992. LD3141.M56577.G37 1992 shelved in stacks.

Hilton, Fred D. Changing from a college to a university: Madison College to James Madison University, 1971-1977. Harrisonburg, VA: James Madison University, M.A., 1996. LB1028. M3H56 shelved in stacks and Spec. Coll.

James Madison University. Images of James Madison University, 1908-1983: Blue Stone Hill to JMU. Harrisonburg: JMU, 1983. LD3141.M56577.I4 1983 shelved in stacks, Reference, and Spec. Coll.

Jones, Nancy Bondurant.  Rooted on Blue Stone Hill:  A History of James Madison University.  Sante Fe, NM and Staunton, VA:  Center for American Places in association with The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, 2004.   LB1972. H42 J78 2004, shelved in stacks and in Spec. Coll.

Malinowski, Monica. A Social History of Student Life at JMU: An Oral History. Harrisonburg: JMU, 1996. Tapes and transcripts in Spec. Coll. Sound Archives (SDArch) no. 7. Transcripts in stacks, LD3141.M56577.M27 1996.

Miller, Gordon W. Rockingham: An Annotated Bibliography of a Virginia County. Harrisonburg, VA: Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, 1989. F232. R7M5486 1989. In stacks, Ref., and Spec. Coll. Contains more than 100 citations relevant to JMU. See also Rockingham: Supplement To An Annotated Bibliography of a Virginia County, by Gordon Miller.

One day, one university [videorecording]: a video chronicle of James Madison University. A production of The School of Media Arts and Design. VHS, 24 min. 1999.  Shows a day in the life of students, faculty and staff off and on campus. Harrisonburg, Va.: James Madison University, 1999. Media Resources-Reserve Videotape no.6098. Special Collections LD 3141 .M56623 O54 1999.

Robertson, Emily G. The Transformation of Madison College into James Madison University. Williamsburg, VA: College of William and Mary, PhD., 1991. LD 3141.M56592.R62 1991, shelved in stacks and Spec. Coll.

Sonner, Ray C. Madison College: The Miller Years, 1949-1970. Harrisonburg, VA: Madison College, 1974. Microfilm no. 870.

Torisky, Danielle.  History of Dining Services at James Madison University.  [s.n.] 2007.  Submitted to Carrier Library Special Collections as the product of a Burruss Historical Research Grant in JMU Institutional History.  LB1972. T67 2007 [view pdf]

This is Madison.  [VHS videocassette, 20 min., 1/2 in., transferred from original format on film reel].  Harrisonburg:  Madison College, 1955?  Spec. Coll.  LD3141.M56623.T45 (and copy 2).  Roop Hall Educational and Teaching Materials Center 378.1 Thi c.2.

Turner, Jeremy. Madison College Student Protest, April 1970: An Oral History. Harrisonburg: JMU, 1998. Tapes and transcripts in Spec. Coll. Sound Archives (SDArch) no. 11. Transcripts in stacks, LD3141.M56577.T87 1998. See also his thesis,This is your school too”: the Madison College student protest movement of 1970.  LB1028.M32 T948 1999, shelved in stacks and Spec. Coll. Room 109.

Major University and Student Publications

The Bluestone (Student yearbook). Previously titled The Schoolma’am (1910-1961). LD 3141.M5665.B57. Shelved in Reference and Spec. Coll.

The Breeze. (Student newspaper). Dec. 2, 1922–(current). On microfilm. Also, current issues in Periodicals, and all issues in Spec. Coll.

Constitution and by-laws of the Student Association of the State Normal School at Harrisonburg.  [Harrisonburg, VA:  State Normal School, 1921].    LD3141.M56577 C66 1921. Shelved in Special Collections.

Curio. (Student magazine). 1978-(current). Current 3 years in Periodicals; all issues in Spec. Coll.

James Madison University Catalogs (undergraduate and graduate). Previously titled Normal Bulletin; Virginia Teacher; Bulletin of Information, State Teacher’s College; Bulletin of Information, Madison College; Bulletin Madison College; Madison College Bulletin. Current issues at Reference; all issues in Spec. Coll.

JMUniverse, a monthly newsletter for the community of James Madison University.  Previously titled The Commons, Madison News, JMU News, James Madison News. Current issues on Library first floor; previous issues on microfilm.

Madison (Alumni publication). Previously titled Montpelier and Madisonian.  In Spec. Coll. Periodicals Oversize; Fall 1977–(current) in Spec. Coll. Periodicals.

Statistical Summary. JMU Office of Planning and Analysis. 1984 – (current). LD 3141.M56592.S8 in Ref. and stacks. Also available on the Campus Wide Information System at Institutional Research Statistics.

Student Handbook. (Also titled Student’s Hand Book, Madison College Student Handbook, Madison Student Handbook, James Madison University Student Handbook), 1912–(some gaps) – current. LD 3141.M566.S8  Current year shelved in Reference, all years in Spec. Coll.


Two JMU Photo Files in Special Collections: pre 1985, containing approximately 1,600 photos; and 1985 +, containing approximately 150 photos. Arranged by subjects listed in the JMU Historic Photos.

Brochures, Programs, Flyers & Other Ephemera

JMU Vertical Files in Special Collections contains materials on more than 150 subjects related to JMU’s history. These include such topics as “Alma Mater,” “Rankings,” “Protest,” and “University Farm.”

Other Materials / Sources

Campus legends:

  • “Axe murderesses in Eagle and the contents of shepherd’s pie: the truth about JMU’s top ten rumors.” Breeze, March 19, 1990, pp. 3,5,7.
  • “Campus hanging myth survives 50 years.” Lois Green. Breeze, April 25, 1980, p. 13.
  • Newman Lake: “Erosion and sedimentation in Siebert Creek and Newman Lake.” William P. Roberts. Madison College Bulletin Studies & Research, 1975.
  • “Unknown Underground: memories of tunnels reveal stories of JMU’s past.” Stephanie Swaim. Curio, Summer 1990.
  • “Wilson Tower.”  Bobby Girardi. Breeze, February 15, 1980, p. 2.