W&M Libraries Blog

Library stacks in Swem Library
February 11, 2019

The catalog update launched just over a month ago, and we would like to share some new updates and information on feedback you have sent us. Some background info first: our vendor provides quarterly updates and enhancements which we evaluate and choose whether to implement. They also maintain an active idea exchange where we can propose and vote on future enhancements. This is why we value your feedback so much – the more input we can provide our vendor, the more we can help improve the system!

February marks the first vendor update to the catalog. There are two new features we’d...

Previous Posts

Jan 2017

  • 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

  • December 28, 2016
    “Buy 5 Get 1 Free” - that is how the publisher advertised the 1805 edition of Ferdinand Seidel’s Naturhistorisches Kupferwerk : mit erklärendem Texte nach Büffon, acquired this fall by Special Collections (Rare Book - Chapin-Horowitz  QH45. B84 S45 1805).  
  • December 21, 2016
    Everyone knows these famous lines even if the rest of the poems escapes them. “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known as The Night before Christmas, was written in 1823 by Clement C. Moore (1779-1863) and is a staple in many families’ holiday traditions. But what accounts for the poem’s enduring popularity?
  • December 14, 2016
    In the basement of Swem Library is a room used mostly for storage. Along two walls are machines and wooden cases full of drawers. The machines are printing presses and the cases are filled with type – individual letters cast in metal, designed to be set by hand and printed on the machines.

Nov 2016

  • November 9, 2016
    If you’re a senior at the College, you may know the Colonial Echo through their emails reminding you to get your portrait taken.

Oct 2016

  • October 26, 2016
    SCRC has an active instruction schedule during the academic year, as professors from all departments bring their students in to see the amazing materials housed in Special Collections. However, many may be surprised to learn that SCRC houses objects, texts, and ephemera related to virtually every discipline.This week included a reminder of how rich a collection we have related to the arts.
  • October 19, 2016
    This year Kelvin W. Ramsey (Class of 1979), recently donated an additional 159 items to his collection of stereographs and magic lantern slides housed at the Special Collections Research Center.
  • October 10, 2016
    The recent acquisition of seven letters written by Sir Peyton Skipwith and one by Sir Gray Skipwith reveal what Sir Peyton thought of his wife Lady Jean’s library. The library is featured in an exhibit, Exceptional in Any Age, at Swem Library that will run through October 2016.

Sep 2016

  • September 28, 2016
    Tucked among countless other books in the Special Collections stacks of rare books lies a rather unassuming looking text. It is green, with a lone tree pictured in the center of the cover and a grapevine frame going around, with the title, The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, spelled out in gold lettering.