Today's Hours: 10-5, limited researcher capacity | Calendar

Location: First floor of Swem Library (Map)
Phone: (757) 221-3090
Email: spcoll@wm.edu

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About Us

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Swem Library connects students, faculty, and researchers with rare and unique materials, including: 

  • original manuscripts 
  • photographs 
  • rare books 
  • maps 
  • audiovisual media 
  • and more 

Services during COVID-19

Special Collections is open to all researchers for onsite research, but with limited capacity in our reading room. We strongly encourage requesting an appointment to ensure that we will be able to accommodate your visit. We may need to limit your appointment to two hours depending on demand. Please email us at spcoll@wm.edu with requests for appointments, research consultations, and any other questions.

Our reproduction services are also available, with priority given to internal W&M requests. There may be delays for external requests.

Spotlight

Manuscripts

Ivy Li '23 Photograph, Documenting Life During COVID-19

This collection of personal reflections and experiences during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic includes this photo taken on March 21st at Los Angeles International Airport. "Although it was midnight, the airport was full of people waiting to board on planes. Most of them were going to return to their home countries."

Manuscripts

Jefferson H. Clark Collection

The Jefferson H. Clark collection contains a variety of materials from Clark’s service in World War I, including photographs, documents, Clark’s helmet, and this surgical kit. 

Oral Histories

Satoshi Ito Oral History Interview

Professor Ito shares his experience in a Relocation Center in Arkansas during World War II, the evolution of W&M's Department of Sociology, and his volunteer efforts with the Anti-Racism Commission, Diocese of Southern Virginia, the New Kent County Democratic Committee, and the Human Rights Committee of Eastern State Hospital. 

Spotlight

Passengers in face masks and protective clothing wait for flights at the Los Angeles Airport.

Ivy Li '23 Photograph, Documenting Life During COVID-19

This collection of personal reflections and experiences during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic includes this photo taken on March 21st at Los Angeles International Airport. "Although it was midnight, the airport was full of people waiting to board on planes. Most of them were going to return to their home countries."

Open black leather surgical kit with various steel tools.

Jefferson H. Clark Collection

The Jefferson H. Clark collection contains a variety of materials from Clark’s service in World War I, including photographs, documents, Clark’s helmet, and this surgical kit. 

Several hand painted covers of zines.

Latinx Zines

Special Collections has an ever-growing collection of self-published books, or zines, including numerous zines made by Latinx authors and creators. 

First page of Nanny Waller's diary dated 1848.

Nanny C. Waller Diary

The diary, 1849-1851, of Nanny C. Waller, Williamsburg, Virginia which includes religious writings, discussion of a cholera epidemic, and of her family.

Profile photo of Satoshi Ito.

Satoshi Ito Oral History Interview

Professor Ito shares his experience in a Relocation Center in Arkansas during World War II, the evolution of W&M's Department of Sociology, and his volunteer efforts with the Anti-Racism Commission, Diocese of Southern Virginia, the New Kent County Democratic Committee, and the Human Rights Committee of Eastern State Hospital. 

An Acquired Taste

  • Posted January 20, 2022
    I was late, to begin with. I hadn’t written about my time at the Swem Library’s Special Collections Research Center, within The Chapin-Horowitz Dog Book Collection. I kept promising myself—and others—that I would do it. The work was imminent. Forthcoming, shortly. About to arrive.
  • Stereoview of Santa
    Posted December 17, 2021
    The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first published in 1823 and attributed to Clement Clarke Moore as author in 1837.

Current Exhibit

  • Woodcut illustration titled "Undeveloped" with a dark thick forest, with a bird sitting on a branch in the foreground.

    Peace

    Swem Library Lobby
    December 3, 2021 to January 31, 2022

    There is peace on a grand scale: peace in the absence of war. Then there is peace in nature, like that found when seeing a blanket of freshly fallen snow on the Sunken Garden, and inner peace, like the feeling of contentment you may experience after finishing final exams.