Happy Winter!

Edith McChesney Ker, often referred to as Edie, was an avid photographer of wildlife and nature.  She dedicated her life to traveling around the world taking photos and writing journal entries about her experiences. In the course of her career, Ker participated in more than 70 professional photographic camping safaris in Africa, including expeditions with primatologist Jane Goodall. She also served as president of the Society of Woman Geographers from 1997 to 1999. Born in 1924, she died in 2003. GMU is home to the Edith McChesney Ker collection.

Both of the images below are from her trip to Churchill, Manitoba in 1985.

Edith took many photos of polar bears during this trip.

Edith McChesney Ker, 1985

The Results Are In

Our researchers often give us valuable insights into our collections and point out hidden gems. Just recently, Ross Landis, a City of Fairfax historian who also volunteers at the City of Fairfax Regional Library’s Virginia Room, found such a gem in the Stacy Sherwood Collection. Stacy C. Sherwood grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and graduated from Fairfax High School in 1940. Sherwood spent much of his career working for the National Bank of Fairfax. Following in his father Albert Sherwood’s footsteps, who served as Fairfax Town Councilman for forty years, Stacy Sherwood served on the Town Council from 1956-1960 and Fairfax City Council from 1960-1964. Most of the materials in the collection date from his tenure as Fairfax Town and City Councilman. Below are two tally sheets from the collection that were used to count the votes in the mayoral and town council elections of 1960.

The votes are in and Fairfax has new Town Councilmen! There were six seats on the town council, so the six top candidates with the most votes won those seats.

John C. Wood was running unopposed for mayor. He got 233 votes and there was one write-in vote for Russell McLaughlin.

Some interesting facts about the City of Fairfax courtesy of Ross Landis:

  • The City of Fairfax was still the Town of Fairfax in 1960. City status wasn’t achieved until late June, 1961.
  • Albert Sherwood still holds the record as the longest serving member of the council. Albert served from 1916-1956.
  • Edgar A. Prichard (his name is spelled wrong on the tally sheets) went on to serve as mayor from 1964-1968. He defeated John C. Wood in a heated race.
  • George Hamill went on to serve as mayor from 1968-1970.
  • Dr. Fred Everly ran Everly’s Pharmacy, a local drug store and soda fountain.

Pictured here: Stacy Sherwood (far left), Roland Clarke (3rd from the left), John C. Wood (center behind Clarke), George Hamill (2nd from right) and Fred Everly (far right).

Photos of the GMU Police

A college campus is like a small town. People study, eat, shop, and live there. As a result, campuses need their own police department to ensure the safety of the tens of thousands of people who come to campus to work and learn every day. According to the GMU police website: In 1981, George Mason University’s 21 person security department was reorganized to form an autonomous law enforcement agency. Today Mason has a full service law enforcement agency which has maintained its nationally accredited status since 1991. There are over fifty sworn officers who patrol all three campuses.

Members of the GMU Police Force are state certified police officers empowered to enforce all state and local laws on all George Mason campuses, with the authority to make arrests and carry firearms. They are trained in emergency first aid, criminal law, criminal investigation, defensive tactics, crime prevention, use of firearms, sexual assault victim counseling, crisis intervention, crowd control, and enforcement of traffic regulations.

Spurred by a research request we recently discovered a large number of historical photos from the early days of the police department. Here are a few:

Officers pose outside of Krug Hall.

Cool police buggy.

Anyone who knows Lieutenant Barnes knows that he is one of the most friendly and helpful people at GMU. Here he is in his early days at Mason.

Addition to Sophocles Papas collection

A recent Washington Post article by Anne Midgette explained the undeniable influence Sophocles Papas (1894-1986) had on classical guitar enthusiasm and academic guitar study in the Washington D.C. area. George Mason Special Collections and Archives is proud to be the steward of Papas collection which includes the personal papers of Papas. The collection consists of music and manuscript scores, phonograph records, correspondence, music journals, photographs, and guitar music manuals.

An addition to the collection has been received from Papas’ daughter Elisabeth Papas-Smith. This new series includes scrapbook style magazine and newspaper clippings, postcards, photographs, and stamps featuring guitar images in art and popular music. Images of Papas and those he knew such as Charlie Byrd, Jack Duarte, Dorothy Perrenoud, Alvino Rey, and Carl Sandburg are also found in the Papas collection.  The following page from the recent addition is an example of the images that can be found in the Papas collection.

Sophocles Papas personalized stationary and two photographs. The photo on the upper left reads: "To Dorothy (Perrenoud)- a true devotee of the guitar and one who possesses those rare qualities of talent, charm and genuine friendship. Affectionately, Sophocles Papas, Washington Dec. 12, 1948". The photo on the lower right reads: "To Mercia with love S.P."