On the night of Sunday October 16, 1859, twenty-three men emerged from the woods surrounding the town of Harpers Ferry, which sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers in present-day West Virginia. Armed with rifles and pikes, their mission was to successfully secure the large cache of weapons kept in the town’s armory and expel the U.S. military from the area.
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January 17, 2018Posted in: Special Collections
November 22, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsDown in the belly of Special Collections sits a mysterious blue velvet box. Its contents are simultaneously mundane and bizarre, important for the study of language in Spain, and remarkably unremarkable. The box bears the inscription Matxin de Zalbaren Gutuna, La Carta de Machin de Zalba, 1416. What is it? Why do we have it? What makes it both special and ordinary?
November 13, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsThis 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.
November 8, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsIn 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, effectively ending World War I. This Saturday marks the anniversary of this event, commemorated as Veteran's Day in the United States, Armistice Day in France, and Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom.
October 25, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsAs a child of the 90's, I'm pretty familiar with trading cards. Pokémon and Yugio cards were all the rage throughout my younger years, but little did I know that trading cards have a much richer history than keeping myself occupied throughout elementary school.
August 30, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsIn December 2016, David B. Wolf, a New York attorney and collector interested in John Marshall and his biography of George Washington, donated three letters that join an existing collection of John Marshall Papers (Mss.
August 16, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsInstitutional knowledge is an awesome thing and something that is often taken for granted and/or overlooked. I recently learned a cool story surrounding one of the rare books housed in Special Collections, thanks to former Dean of W&M Libraries, Nancy Marshall.
August 9, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsWhat do Indiana Jones and the Content Services Mosaic Intern have in common? We both spend our days searching for historical treasure: in my case that involves paging through old texts—often plain or even dirty in appearance—researching their autographs and marginalia, and mining valuable snippets of the lives of people important to both our local and national history.
August 2, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsWith a goal of not only collecting and preserving texts and objects for future generations, the Special Collections Research Center is devoted to acquiring books and artifacts that can benefit instruction at William & Mary. Chinese scrolls, facsimiles of medieval texts, and a replica of Dead Sea scrolls are just a few examples of items in the SCRC that faculty have frequently used in their teaching.
July 19, 2017Posted in: Special CollectionsFrom the warm and welcoming reading room to the frigid ground floor stacks, the Special Collections Research Center offers a wealth of historical resources, right at the heart of campus. I am grateful to have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at the SCRC and explore many of its treasures this summer through Swem Library’s Mosaic Internship Program.
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