W&M Libraries Blog

January 15, 2019
Bursar's Book, 1761 (Office of the Bursar Records, UA 72)

Great news! The Office of the Bursar Records have been digitized and are available for researching, right from your computer.  Why is this significant, you ask?  The majority of W&M’s early historic records were destroyed by fires. The Bursar’s records are some of the earliest surviving records detailing the university’s history, dating from the 18th century. Of particular note are references to individuals enslaved by the institution, as well as references to the Brafferton Indian School. The collection includes reports,...

Previous Posts

Apr 2017

  • April 5, 2017
    Can you type without looking at the keyboard? This used to be a skill taught to people who wanted secretarial or clerical jobs. Now of course many of us type quickly because we use computers on a daily basis.  But what about the predecessor to the keyboard we know? This is it – a typecase, filled with individual letters which had to be assembled by hand to create anything which needed to be printed.  

Mar 2017

  • March 29, 2017
    The island of Taiwan, once commonly known in the West by the Portuguese name of Formosa, has recently resurfaced in the news in connection with the One China policy. In the past it was also a subject of interest, although information coming from Taiwan itself was often scarce.
  • March 22, 2017
    The arrival of Europeans in the Americas was an event of global importance, and its effect on the people already living here was devastating. That is why in 1552 the Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas wrote a book that he called Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias, or A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies.
  • March 16, 2017
    Most of us, if we recognize the name Maurice Sendak, probably think of him as the man who wrote and illustrated the beloved children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” published in 1963. Yet what some may not know is that Sendak wrote (and illustrated) much more than that one popular book.

Feb 2017

Jan 2017

  • Henry Lee, “Sea Fables Explained”
    January 25, 2017
    Imagine, if you will, a creature with a lower body made of the skin and scales of a carp, a human-like upper body with prominent ribs, “thin and scraggy” arms, “skeleton-like” fingers, the head of a small monkey, and the teeth of a catfish. Sound familiar?
  • January 12, 2017
    Many of the books in Swem Library’s Special Collections have been gifted by individual donors who have themselves built up their own private collections. This practice of endowing educational institutions with the tools of study has long antecedents, but in the seventeenth century a librarian actually laid out a plan for building a library and advocated wider access for scholars.
  • C. Cornelius Tacitus, Leiden, 1634
    January 5, 2017
    The University of Leiden in the Netherlands, founded in 1575, is the country’s oldest; it is also now one of the study abroad opportunities offered to William & Mary students. In the first three quarters of a century annual enrollments showed a four-fold rise, with the result being that the Elsevier family in Leiden, who already operated a printing press, decided to get into the early modern equivalent of the text-book industry.

Dec 2016