“When I saw something, I’d fire it, man. Right from the hip,” says Ed Roseberry. And fire away he has. By his own estimation, Roseberry has taken more than 180,000 photographs, most of which capture the life of the University and Charlottesville.

A 1949 graduate of the Commerce School, he got his start shooting pictures with a Rolleiflex camera (which he still owns) for Corks & Curls in 1947. His first assignment was photographing a 47-0 U.Va. football win over Harvard, and “back then, the Ivy League teams were good,” he says.

December 1967
Ed Roseberry, self portrait

Clearly, Roseberry found the subject matter around the University to his liking. He would go on to take photographs for the Charlottesville Daily Progress and the University News Services. He also taught photography classes in the School of Architecture and served as an adviser to the yearbook staff, but it was his freelance work that most established him as a familiar and welcome figure to generations of U.Va. students.

Widely known as “Flash,” Roseberry was a ubiquitous part of weekend activities along Rugby Road. Camera in hand, he roamed freely throughout the fraternities. On Sundays, he posted for sale his weekend’s pictures in the windows of Eljo’s, then located on University Avenue. It wasn’t uncommon for the gathered crowd of appreciative onlookers to snarl traffic in front of the store.

Roseberry elevated the party picture to an art form. In fact, the University Art Museum mounted an exhibition of his photographs in 1985. “Roseberry maintained a disciplined and balanced and sober spontaneity which allowed his eye to dance in perfect rhythm with his subject matter,” wrote Richard Jones and Stephen Margulies in the introduction to The Inward Eye, a book chronicling the exhibit.

Born in Roanoke, Va., he moved to Charlottesville when he was 14. After living in Hawaii from 1984 to 2001, Roseberry, now 88, returned to Charlottesville, where he lives today.

April 1955
Carroll's Tea Room, a popular watering hole, closed its doors in 1956 to make way for the Barrack's Road Shopping Center.

 

1962
A Chevrolet Corvair parked near a fraternity house provides an unlikely resting spot for a pair of revelers.

September 1961
Victorious in his first game as U.Va.'s coach, Bill Elias is carried off the Scott Stadium field after the Cavaliers end a 28-game losing streak with a 21-6 win over William and Mary.

July 1966
Dr. Janet Meade (left) and Mrs. D. Tucker Brown enjoy themselves at a wedding reception at the Keswick Country Club. Roseberry later learned from Meade that she was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. from the University.

September 1979
The Dalai Lama tours the Grounds with Professor Jeffrey Hopkins (front left), his official interpreter from 1976 to 1996.

February 1967
Good times at the DKE house
"Photography records a split second of emotion or of a happening that can never be duplicated," says Roseberry.
 

October 1957
Rainy day at Scott Stadium
"If there was no action on the fields, I'd always be scanning the stands," Roseberry says.

1966
Dionne Warwick relaxes in her dressing room before a performance at University Hall.

February 1972
A basketball fan in University Hall shows his support for Barry Parkhill, a two-time basketball All-American. Parkhill was named ACC Player of the Year following the '72 season.

November 1964
Cheerleaders, Scott Stadium

November 1961
Duke Ellington, Memorial Gymnasium

1956
Elizabeth Taylor in Charlottesville for the filming of the movie Giant. Montgomery Clift is visible at the right side of the doorway.

December 1976
Mary Hall Betts, known as "Mama Rotunda," served as the Rotunda hostess for nearly 25 years, starting in 1958.

November 1961
Young love on the corner of 17th and Gordon

October 1966
Former U.Va. President Edgar Shannon, with wife Eleanor and children at Carr's Hill

February 1963
Sunday afternoon fraternity party at ZBT
"I always liked this one because it's an arty photo," says Roseberry. "I liked to look for shots like this, with the bright sun coming through the smoke and dust."

Left: October 1967
A pair of Lawn residents was recruited on the spot to pose for this iconic University scene. One picture from this shoot appeared on the cover of the Saturday Review of Literature.

Right: April 1976
Inspired by the 1967 shot, this picture was commissioned six years after women were admitted to the College to illustrate the changing times at U.Va.

April 1965
Chuck Berry, Memorial Gymnasium