Past Exhibits

  • Most people today know Moore’s enchanting tale of the mysterious Christmas Eve visitor, St. Nicholas. Moore, a noted theologian and biblical scholar, wrote this classic more than 180 years ago. Nancy H. Marshall started collecting Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, The Night Before Christmas, over 45 years ago. At first, she bought inexpensive editions to put in her children’s stockings and decorate her home during the Christmas holiday. As time passed, her collection became more comprehensive. She began to take every opportunity to acquire both the rare and scarce early editions and the more contemporary twentieth-century editions. While in retirement, she continues collecting today. As the number of books and other The Night Before Christmas-related items approached one thousand, Marshall realized that it was perhaps one of the largest collections held in private hands.
  • Christmas cards are modern inventions rooted in old traditions. Ancient Romans and medieval Europeans sent New Year’s greetings.
  • It was closer to 2 p.m. than midnight and something not remotely evil was lurking in the Sunken Garden, which was not remotely dark.
  • The first Homecoming celebration at the College of William and Mary took place on October 23, 1926.
  • Swem Library has recently mounted an exhibit to honor Will F.
  • The third of a series of library exhibits of W&M faculty publications opened in Swem Library in the fall of 2008.
  • Mass meetings demanding that Williamsburg’s city government spend more? Unionized workers striking? Bruton Parish’s rector and William and Mary’s president quarreling over racial equality? All this and more are to be found in Swem Library’s exhibit, “A ‘Most Thriving and Growing Place’: Williamsburg before the Restoration.” Focusing on the years from the 1880s to the 1920s, the exhibit uses documents, images, and artifacts from Swem’s Special Collections Research Center to examine how a sleepy southern college town became a progressive, expansive city in the Jim Crow South.