Melville S. Munro Papers, 1858 -- 1959


Title: Melville S. Munro Papers
Dates: 1858 -- 1959
Bulk Dates: 1930 -- 1945
Creator: Munro, Melville S.
Call Number: MS036
Size: 84.62 Cubic Feet, 118 boxes, 808 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL:
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection primarily consists of photographs of Tufts College and students taken by Melville Munro between 1930 and 1945. Munro arranged most images into albums by theme or topic. There are also some albums of clippings and publications on topics of interest to Munro in his teaching, including weather formations and electricity. Many of Munro's photographs have been cataloged separately at the item level.


This collection is organized into fifteen series: Photographic history of Tufts College; Afield with a camera; Campus related activities; Photo inventories; Small photo albums; The scrap book; Tufts and the war; Tufts College History; War years at Tufts; The weather; Loose prints; Photographic History of Dramatics at Tufts College; Lantern slides; Boston Globe Currier and Ives Prints; and Tufts College history and technology.


Melville S. Munro (1881-1945), a faculty member for more than three decades, made his most notable contributions to Tufts through his camera's lens. Munro was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, on July 7, 1881. He graduated from Tufts College with a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1904. Following graduation, Munro was appointed as an assistant to the electrical engineering department. He became an instructor in the department in 1905 and was made a professor in 1913. During his thirty-seven years on the faculty, Munro worked as the college's official photographer, recording an almost complete pictorial history of campus and student life up until 1941.

Munro retired in 1941 and died at his summer home in Maine on June 1, 1945. His wife, Ruth Harmon, W1903, predeceased him in 1941. Both of their children, Lawrence, E1930, and Ella, J1935, attended Tufts.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.

Subjects and Genre Terms
  • Students
  • World War, 1914-1918
  • Alumni and alumnae
  • Faculty
  • University history
  • Munro, Melville S.

Series Description

  1. Photographic history of Tufts College, 1904 -- 1946

    This series contains seventy-five photo albums created between 1913 and 1945 documenting daily, weekly, and annual activities around the Tufts College campus. Also includes sections Munro titled, "Horribles," campus events, celebrations, sports teams, and various student groups. Also includes the three volumes entitled: "Photographic history of Tufts College, landscape views."

  2. Afield with a camera, 1908 -- 1940

    This series contains albums with photographs, newspaper clippings, campus event advertisements, and publications from daily life on campus primarily between 1930 and 1937. Each album is titled "Afield With a Camera" and is organized around a particular subject or theme. Also includes Stone & Webster Journal and several Thomas Edison newsletters.

  3. Campus-related activities, 1908 -- 1940

    This series contains albums containing photos, newspaper clippings, campus newsletters and publications, about groups of Tufts faculty, students, and staff as well as current events including the development of the wireless station, transportation, the telephone, and various social events primarily between 1920 and 1931. Includes Munro's autobiographical lecture, "Talk on Photography at Tufts," an eyewitness account of Jumbo's death, a memorial to P.T. Barnum, and several newsletters about Thomas Edison and the telephone.

  4. Photo inventories, 1890 -- 1940

    This series contains two large photo albums containing newspaper clippings of photos taken by Munro up until 1924. Also contains five small hand written notepads titled, "Negative Index" numbered and used to cross reference negatives with photographs.

  5. The scrap book, 1909 -- 1941

    This series contains albums containing WWII newspaper cartoon clippings, and albums relating to current events in 1939-41. Each album is titled, "The Scrap Book". Also includes information about storm-like weather and Thomas Edison.

  6. Small photo albums, 1913 -- 1940

    This series contains small, black, paper photo albums with thumb-nail sized photos of faculty members, campus buildings, and landscapes often depicting effects of the weather between 1913 and 1940.

  7. Tufts and the war, 1914 -- 1934

    This series contains albums of WWI-related activities that took place on Tufts College campus including war courses offered to students, vocational work, the Red Cross, and the Student Army Training Corps, or S.A.T.C. Each album is titled, "Tufts and the War". Also includes a Red Cross button and a booklet titled, "Commission on Training Camp Activities."

  8. Tufts College history, 1858 -- 1943

    This series contains photo albums with pictures of campus buildings as they evolved and changed over time. Photos include those collected and reproduced by Munro as well as his original photographs. The photographs date from 1858 to 1936.

  9. War years at Tufts, 1916 -- 1919

    This series contains eleven albums containing pictures about WWI. Each album is titled, "War Years at Tufts".

  10. The weather, 1908 -- 1938

    This series contains photo albums with pictures and news clippings of floods, wind, and lightning storms on campus and in nearby New England cities.

  11. Loose prints, 1890 -- 1959

    This series contains loose prints collected from various sources and attributed to Melville Munro. Loose prints are physically stored separately from the collection in accession order. See barcode in item record for location of originals.

  12. Photographic History of Dramatics at Tufts College, 1914 -- 1934

    This series contains four dis-bound scrapbooks containing photographs and clippings from dramatic productions on campus from 1914 to 1934.

  13. Lantern Slides, 1900 -- 1950

    This series contains lantern slides of buildings on campus, of professors, and students taken by Melville S. Munro between 1900-1950.

  14. Boston Globe Currier and Ives Prints, 1935 -- 1936

    This series contains a book of clippings from the Boston Globe Currier and Ives Prints.

  15. Tufts College history and technology, 1900 -- 1940

    These six scrapbooks contain captioned photographs that primarily document the Engineering Department at Tufts University between the years 1900-1940, including students, faculty, reunions, and projects. There is an emphasis on documenting the technological equipment, laboratory space, and classroom space in Robinson Hall. Also included are photographs of the Tufts campus and Tufts during World War, I.

View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized.