Past Exhibits

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Alejandro Rodríguez Fornés “Alucho,” is a prolific graphic designer and an important figure in the use of emerging technologies and digital art in Cuban graphic design; this is his first solo exhibit in the United States.
  • 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.
  • The Mademoiselle Zare Papers give us a peek into the life of a woman who not only worked for herself, but made a living telling customers the secrets that could be uncovered in the palm of their hand.
  • This year’s Charter Day marked the 325th anniversary of the founding of The College of William & Mary by William III and Mary II, the first and (to date) only joint-monarchs in British history. An exhibition in the lobby at Swem Library brings the focus to William and Mary – the people, not the university.
  • This exhibition shows only a sampling of the travel books in Swem Library’s Special Collections at William & Mary. The works on display describe the world in words but also with maps and topographical views as well as pictures of plants, animals, and people; that convey in words and images the languages, history, and mores of the places visited in the early modern period.