Madison, James Memorabilia, 1796-1951

Browse manuscript collections

Descriptive Summary


Repository: Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

Title: James Madison Memorabilia, 1796-1951

Collection No.: SC 0119
Creator: Unknown

Extent: 3 boxes; 1.77 cubic feet

Language: English

Abstract: James Madison Memorabilia, 1796-1951, contains correspondence, official documents, engravings, photographs, and artifacts related to James Madison, the Madison family, and descendents.


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collection Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], [box #, folder #], James Madison Memorabilia, 1796-1951, SC 0119, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

Acquisition Information: This collection was created in 1983 from miscellaneous items housed in library storage when Special Collections was first developed and initiated in 1982.
Provenance: Many of the items in this collection were donated to James Madison University, then called Madison College, in the 1930s and 1940s from a variety of sources. An undated, unsigned typescript inventory was found in storage with the items in 1982. This inventory, currently stored in the collection's control file, gives provenance information for some items, while handwritten tags accompanying some items and further research provided provenance for others. Provenance for individual items is given, when known, in the "Contents" list.
Processing Information: In 1983, the items were boxed together as a collection and moved to Special Collections. In 1994, the collection was re-boxed and reorganized to be consistent with the standards developed for manuscript collections. In July 2008, the preservationist removed images from frames to prevent further acidic damage. Frames have been retained and moved to storage. A photograph found behind the previously framed Montpelier photo was removed and added to Folder Six, Photographs Donated by Corrie B. Macon Hill. In October 2010, the finding aid was updated into a new formatting template and some folder names were changed for greater clarity of contents and organization. The collection itself was not reorganized. In August 2011, two albumen prints were discovered in a storage room in Carrier Library along with a gift acknowledgement letter dated 21 May 1970 from President G. Tyler Miller to Mrs. R. Harris Kesler indicating that the pictures would be added to the Madison Memorial Library's Madison Collection.In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2099.

Bio/Historical Note:

Scope and Content:

James Madison Memorabilia, 1796-1951, contains correspondence, official documents, engravings, photographs, and artifacts related to James Madison, the Madison family, and descendents. It is arranged topically into five series and described at the item level.

Series 1, Miscellaneous Materials, 1795, 1938, 1951, consists of a letter written by J. Madison Sr., genealogical papers, and stamps bearing James Madison's likeness.

Series 2, Illustrative Materials, undated, consists of a postcard, photographs, and portrait reproductions of James and Dolley Madison, descendents, and Montpelier. Two nineteenth century albumen prints of paintings by P. Polk in Philadelphia in 1777, of James Madison's parents: Col. James Madison Sr. and Nelly Rose Conway.

Series 3, Documents Signed by James Madison, 1801-1815, includes several letters of commission signed by Madison, a check written by Madison, a letter of patent signed by Madison and Jefferson, and a document signed by James Madison and James Monroe.

Series 4, Newspaper Items, 1812-1821, is composed of two articles related to James Madison from 1812 and 1836.

Series 5, Artifacts, 1809, undated, includes several three-dimensional items related to James Madison, his family, and descendents.


The collection is arranged topically into five series: Miscellaneous Materials, Illustrative Materials, Documents Signed by Madison, Newspaper Items, and Artifacts.

Separated Material:

In 2008, frames were removed from photographs and engravings and moved to storage.


Series 1: Miscellaneous Materials, 1796, 1938, 1951

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Letter from James Madison Sr. to Thomas Macon, 1796
Madison Family Genealogy, 1951
James Madison Stamps, 1938

Series 2: Illustrative Materials, undated

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Miscellaneous Images, undated
Engravings from books, undated
Photographs Donated by Corrie B. Macon Hill, undated
Engravings Purchased by the library, undated
Albumen Prints, 19th century
OV 1:4

Series 3: Documents Signed by Madison, 1801-1815

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Correspondence, Commissions, Check, 1801-1815
OV 1:1
Patent, 1808
OV 1:2
Madison, Monroe signed document and images, March 27, 1813
OV 1:3

Series 4: Newspaper Items, 1812-1821

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Liberty Hall 8, no 400 (July 21, 1812); National Intelligencer 37, no 5382 (Dec. 3, 1836), 1812, 1836
OV 1:3
Niles' Weekly Register issues, 1813-1821

Series 5: Artifacts, 1809, undated

Folder Title
Box : Folder
Spyglass, undated
OV 2
Indian Peace Medal, 1809
OV 2
Presidential Medal, undated
OV 2
Pocket Knife, undated
OV 2
Lancet, undated
OV 2
Scales, undated
OV 2
Pistol, undated
OV 2
Saltcellar, undated
OV 2

Compiled by: Chris Bolgiano, April 1983, February 1984; Updated July 2008, October 2010