This year’s Charter Day marked the 325th anniversary of the founding of The College of William & Mary by William III and Mary II, the first and (to date) only joint-monarchs in British history. An exhibition in the lobby at Swem Library brings the focus to William and Mary – the people, not the university.
In my everlasting search for materials relating to African Americans in Special Collections, I was pointed to the 1921 edition of the Colonial Echo. Within its worn cover, there is a single page spread entitled “The Dark Side of College Life.” These are the only words. The rest of the page is filled with several black and white photographs of exactly what one might expect – black employees of the College.
This past spring Sharon Summers, Charles W. Scandrett, Janet S. Hunt, Barbara J. Kaufman, and Sandra S. Ellender generously donated the Civil War diary of Henry Alexander Scandrett to the Special Collections Research Center. Scandrett fought for the Union during the war and recorded his experiences in the pocket diary.
The Special Collections Research Center, located on the first floor of Swem Library, is hosting an Open House this Saturday, October 24, from 9am-11am. We will showcase select items from University Archives as well as our general manuscript and rare book collections, highlighting both examples of philanthropy and firsts at William & Mary.
Libraries and archives may not be the first places that come to mind when creative writing students are thinking about composing their next assignment. Inspiration is often assumed to be all a writer needs, but there are actually several ways in which books, manuscripts and University Archives collections can be helpful.