Remembering legendary photographer Ed Roseberry

Ed Roseberry took his first photograph under San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as he headed out to the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy to serve in the Second World War. It was the start of a long photography career for the Virginia native, who died yesterday at age 97. Roseberry spent decades photographing 20th-century life in Charlottesville and at the University of Virginia. According to UVA Magazine, some of his first assignments were for UVA’s Corks & Curls yearbook when he was a commerce student at the University (he graduated in 1949). His photographs appeared in the Daily Progress, the Associated Press, multiple exhibitions, and books.

“The most memorable shoots were done spontaneously, without my being aware that the event was going to happen,” he said in a 2012 podcast. Roseberry captured some of the first undergraduate women on Grounds in 1970; notable visitors to the University, including the Dalai Lama, Elizabeth Taylor, and Queen Elizabeth II; and early aerial photographs of the Academical Village, taking his camera up in a small plane flown by his younger brother. “I was willing to try anything,” Roseberry said in 2012. “I didn’t always succeed the first time around, but experience garners results, so I kept plugging at it.”

Take a look below at some of Roseberry’s vibrant photographs collected and curated by UVA Library.

Nine young women sit on a hill, smiling and drinking coffee.

UVA students sitting in the grass, 1970.

Two women and a young man sort mail in a cluttered room in UVA LIbrary.

UVA Library staff, 1967. From the catalog notation: “Graduate student Umesh C. Gulati (right), a native of India, helps with cataloging some of the 68,000 publications from India, Pakistan, Israel, and the United Arab Republic that come to the University of Virginia Library each year. The material, much of it scholarly, is sent here under a plan which permits some U.S. foreign aid to be exchanged for overseas publications. Other members of the Library’s cataloging department are Miss Fannie May Elliot (left) and Mrs. Montie Godwin (center).”

Photo of a UVA men's basketball player making a shot and being defended by University of Kentucky players. Taken with a fisheye lens.

A UVA Men’s Basketball game in 1972, University Hall.

Actress Elizbath Taylor standing on rainroad tracks. A man in a cowboy hat stands next to her.

Elizabeth Taylor on the set of “Giant,” which was partially shot in Albemarle County, 1955.

A view of the the campus of the University of Virginia from above.

An aerial view from the north of Central Grounds, Lawn, and Academical Village, including the Rotunda, 1977.

Three large bags full of mail. Above those are a shelf covered with dozens of packages.

UVA Library mail, 1967. From the catalog notation: “A typical day’s mail from India, Pakistan, Israel, and the United Arab Republic waits sorting at the University of Virginia’s Alderman Library. The University receives 120 daily newspapers, as well as books, magazines, and other material, under a plan which lets some U.S. foreign aid be repaid in overseas publications.”

The Dalai Lama stands, smiling, in front of UVA's Rotunda.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in front of the Rotunda, 1979.

Several dozen couples in formalwear dance in the Rotunda dome room. Photo is taken from a balcony above.

Restoration Ball in the Rotunda, 1965.

For additional Roseberry photographs, check out this photo essay by UVA Magazine.

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