W&M Libraries Blog

Page from the Salvatore Rocco Calandra Photograph Album of the Italian Service Unit Program (SC 01583)
June 19, 2019
Map, Salvatore Rocco Calandra Photograph Album of the Italian
Service Unit Program (SC 01583)

During World War II, thousands of Italian prisoners of war were sent to the United States to help fill labor shortages created by the war. However, following the fall of Italy to Allied Forces in 1943, a majority of those POW’s agreed to support the United States war efforts and joined Italian Service Units. These units were established to help streamline war manufacturing and provide logistical support to United States troops. Tens of thousands of Italian nationals participated in the...

Previous Posts

Jun 2017

  • June 28, 2017
    Swem Library holds two editions of A grammar of the English tongue, with the arts of logick, rhetoric, poetry, &c., but it is in the earlier one, printed in 1714, that we find something unexpected and extraordinary. This volume belonged to Samuel Clark, who, according to Alumni Oxonienses by J. Foster, matriculated at St. John’s College, Oxford in 1725 at age 18, graduated BA in 1729, MA in 1733, and BD in 1738.
  • June 21, 2017
    Many of the treasures in Special Collections don’t actually live in the stacks downstairs but are instead housed in Swem Library’s Offsite Stacks (SOSS). Most materials are kept in SOSS either because they are infrequently requested through Special Collections or have specific requirements for the environment in which they must be housed.
  • June 14, 2017
     

May 2017

  • May 31, 2017
    It may seem like Spanish empire in the Americas would have little to do with European politics, but we should not assume that the Atlantic world of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was any less global than our own.
  • May 17, 2017
    The College of William and Mary was founded before the City of Williamsburg, the former in 1693, the latter in 1699. The original of this map, however, was made at some point before 1683, and was used by the Lords of Trade and Foreign Plantations in London in their administration of the colonies. It shows the area where Williamsburg and the College would be built, at least a decade before they came into being.
  • May 3, 2017
    Swem Library has a great many books in very bad bindings. Most modern books, for instance, are held together only by glue at the spine. Even modern hardcovers have the same binding. Other than the hard shell surrounding them, they are in all other respects exactly the same as a cheap paperback. In the past, however, bindings were much stronger.  

Apr 2017

  • April 12, 2017
    On April 6, 1917 the United States entered World War I, then known as the Great War. A century later, objects in Special Collections reveal memories of Americans’ lives at wartime. Among the variety of materials available for research are a collection of Red Cross posters, a veteran’s scrapbook, and a nurse’s correspondence with loved ones.  
  • 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.