Past Exhibits

  • Cover Art for The Night Before Christmas, 1904
    Lively and fascinating, and a bit different from our modern conceptions, the illustrations in this exhibit highlight the figure’s transformation from a mischievous little imp to the jolly, bearded Santa we know today.
  • Broadly centered on the theme of seasonality, this exhibit draws on a collection of cookbooks and recipe books housed in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center to explore what individuals and communities ate, how they labored, and how they coped with centuries of changes in availability and access to foods.
  • Image of nurse from Photo Album of Clara Lawrence
    Veterans Day celebrates all those who served in the armed forces on November 11 each year. Accounts of their service on display describe not the combat bravery glorified in our society, but daily life during wartime: the monotony of watch duty, letters to loved ones seeking a connection to life at home, and photographs of people met and places visited.
  • In our digital age, it is sometimes easy to forget about the importance of printing in human history, particularly as many people now almost never hold a physical newspaper or book in their hands.
  • This exhibit showcases William & Mary’s diverse athletic spaces and the use our athletes make of them. Selected photographs, artifacts, and publications from the University Archives illustrates this initial desire to promote "healthful and recreative physical activities," which over time developed into the modern, collegiate athletics program William & Mary knows today.
  • When Janet Brown, Lynn Briley, and Karen Ely first moved into their freshmen dorms in Jefferson Hall at William & Mary, they were unaware of the significance of their presence — the three women were the first African Americans in residence at the college.
  • As a part of the commemorative efforts, William & Mary’s oral historian, alongside Special Collections and the 50th Anniversary Committee, is recording the stories of alumni, faculty and staff in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of African Americans living on campus during these first fifty years.