Selected HRHS Archives are kept at James Madison University Library in the Special Collections .
The following collections are the holdings of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society (and a number of other collections) are on deposit at:
Library Special Collections
James Madison University, MSC 1704
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Please refer to JMU Library's homepage for information regarding the libraries, accessibility to the collection, hours, and parking.
This collection consists of 1 Hollinger box and contains the personal diaries of Rockingham County residents Isaac Acker and his son, David. The elder Acker's diaries cover the years 1880 to 1905, while his son's diaries cover the 11 year span of 1889 to 1900.
This collection is in one flat box, and covers the dates of December 1916 to July 1917. The collection is comprised almost exclusively of affidavits of monthly alcohol inventories in places of business in Rockingham County, Virginia.
This collection consists of 28 letters (a few with envelopes), a petition, and two photographs of portraits of Turner Ashby, 1852-1863 and undated. The letters comprise correspondence between relatives of Turner Ashby including his mother, Dorothea F. Ashby; his sisters, Mary and Dora (both later married to Moncures); cousins; and friends of the family. Two letters are from Turner himself.
This collection consists of three folders of deeds, indentures, financial records, wills and a few other miscellaneous documents 1765-[1850-1990]-1998, relevant to John Bowman and his descendants David, Joseph, Alpheus, Solon, and others. John Bowman was issued a Land Office Exchange Treasury Warrant for 374 acres in a section of Rockingham County, VA called "the forest" in 1811. Some documents indicate connections with George Keezel and Charles E. Long. Six rolls of names and amounts record subscriptions for erecting a new Rader's Church in 1878-79.
This collection consists mostly of the papers of William H. Bowman (in 1/2 Hollinger box), and covers the years 1856-1897. It contains primarily bills, receipts, and legal documents, mostly from the 1870's, and a few personal letters.
This collection consists of one half Hollinger box of miscellaneous documents pertaining to the Civil War, 1860-1965. The collection includes primary source materials, writings about the war by several historians, documents pertaining to museums and monuments, and pamphlets and booklets about various aspects of the war.
This collection consists of one scrapbook (3 folders) of photographs and clippings related to the Civilian Conservation Corp Camp #3, Company 1387, Bald Face Mountain, Shenandoah National Park, 1933-34, collected by Jack V. Coxe, a former member of the CCC. Also included are a few of Coxe's letters and documents from the 1930s, and news clippings from the 1980s with interviews concerning the CCC camp.
This collection consists of one folder containing various typed notes about Virginia roads, and a manuscript entitled, "Maintenance of Colonial Roads in Virginia, by John J. Forrer, Maintenance Engineer, Virginia Department of Highways." The manuscript is dated September 8, 1939, and several memos also in the collection indicate that it was produced for a professional meeting.
This collection consists of approximately 44 numbered chapters of a typescript, some of them erroneously enumerated, plus handwritten materials on the history of Port Republic, Virginia, written in the 1930's. The historical analysis begins with a portrait of the land and the Indians who inhabited it. It covers the establishment of the town and its growth. There is information on farming, boating, industry, schooling, and details on Stonewall Jackson's victory at the Battle of Port Republic. Port Republic citizens involved in wars up through World War I are discussed; there are also genealogical chapters on the Harper, Kemper, Harnsberger, Trout, Scott, Downs, and Madden families.
The John T. Harris collection consists of 7 Hollinger boxes and two oversize folders, encompassing the years 1771-(1850-1900)-1937. Although the collection contains a large amount of personal and political documents relevant to the life and career of John T. Harris, the bulk of the collection is letters of John T. Harris and family, and of Peyton Randolph and his family.
This collection consists of one folder of photocopies of newsclippings, school reunion programs, portions of church histories, scrapbooks, newsletters, photographs, and other items displayed in the exhibit "Undocumented Deeds: an exhibit on the history of Harrisonburg's African-American community" compiled by Dale F. Harter and held in the Warren-Sipe Museum of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society in the autumn of 1991. Information pertains largely to the time period 1930-1985. Most items were loaned for the display, and the collection includes copies of the loan contracts. Also included is a 3 page chronology of African-American history in Harrisonburg by Dale Harter.
The Henkel Collection consists of two Hollinger boxes and one flat box, and spans a period from 1783 to 1916. The bulk of the collection consists of letters, religious documents, and newspapers and advertisements published by the Henkel Press. Also included are some Henkel family history materials and business documents, and miscellaneous secular materials.
This collection of letters of appreciation to William H. Keister (1865-1962) occupies 1/2 Hollinger box, and dates primarily from 1941 and 1944. These years marked the 47th and 50th years, respectively, of Keister's service in the Harrisonburg school system. The bound volume was presented to William Keister at the Mayflower Hotel in Lexington, Virginia on March 18, 1941. The letters of appreciation come from former students, friends, various education superintendents across Virginia, and from state officials. The collection also contains newspaper articles of ceremonies honoring Keister and personal letters to him.
The Lanier Garden Club, named after the poet Sidney Lanier, was organized in Harrisonburg in 1954. This collections contains ten scrapbooks of clippings, photos, and programs, and one yearbook.
This collection consists of about 200 items (1/2 Hollinger box & 1 Flat box), 1839-(1870-1889)-1893. The collection is composed mostly of correspondence to Charles O'Ferrall when he resided in Harrisonburg, Virginia; and a small amount of assorted legal, financial, and miscellaneous documents, which are apparently unconnected with O'Ferrall or his family.
Collection contains 4.5 inches of receipts from Clerk of the Circuit Court, Rockingham County, VA, for payment of "order and continuance" and other court fees, 1875-1882. These documents came in alphabetically-designated pockets in a cloth apron designed for the purpose. Original order has been retained.
This collection consists of bound record books from various organizations and individuals, documenting a variety of agricultural, social, commercial, and educational endeavors in Harrisonburg and surrounding counties in the 19th and 20th centuries.
SMALS, HENRY. PAPERS. SC# 2059 CARRIER LIBRARY, JAMES MADISON UNIVERSITY Harrisonburg, VA 22807 Compiled by Chris Bolgiano, October, 1990 SCOPE & CONTENT This collection contains 18 bound notebooks in 1 & 1/2 Hollinger boxes, and one FLAT box. The books are the diaries of Henry Smals of Bridgewater; they begin in May, 1871, and proceed with almost daily entries (with occasional gaps of several weeks) until October, 1891. According to entries in the books, Henry Smals (also spelled Smalz and Smaltz) was born on August 4, 1810, and died March 19, 1892.
This collection consists of one Hollinger box of documents pertaining to the Sons of Confederate Veterans Organization (SCV) at the local, state and national levels, 1896-1964. The papers include letters from the national and state headquarters, many documents from the Harrisonburg SCV, applications for membership in the Harrisonburg SCV, and documents from other camps in Virginia located outside of Rockingham County.
Mary A. Thompson (1903-1997) spent her life in the Harrisonburg area. She went to Pleasant Hill Elementary and Junior High School and then to Dayton High School, graduating in 1925. She was accepted into the Rockingham Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1929 and graduated in 1933. The collection consists of one Hollinger box of records (1893-1974) documenting household finances, as well as a small amount of genealogical, family, local and church information.
This collection consists of one Hollinger box containing nine folders and two ledger books pertaining to the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) organization, 1893-1938. The collection includes letters from national and state level headquarters of the UCV, and documents from S.B. Gibbons Camp 438, the Harrisonburg chapter of the UCV.
This collection consists of 1/2 Hollinger box and 1 oversize folder of records and applications for Shenandoah Valley residents who received the Southern Cross of Honor and the Cross of Military Service from the United Daughters of the Confederacy during the years 1905-1941.
This collection consists of one Hollinger box containing a variety of documents pertaining to the Varner family in Page County, Virginia, 1807-1933. The Varner papers include personal letters, legal documents and a small collection of documents relating to the family distillery business. The Varner family is of German descent, and their name appears as early as 1801 on records of the Antioch Christian Church near Stony Man Creek, Virginia.
This collection consists of one Hollinger box and two oversize folders, containing a variety of documents relating to Mrs. Margaret G. Weaver and her ancestors, particularly her grandfather John E. Roller. Roller, born near Mt. Crawford in 1845, was a prominent lawyer, lecturer, and antiquarian in the Shenandoah Valley.
Frakturs were decorated documents that often served as birth certificates. This example is blank.