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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

  • ca. 1872 stereoview of DoG street
    Posted October 20, 2021
    I am old enough that several of the places that I have lived over the years have been torn down, including the house on South Boundary Street that I lived in for two years as a W&M student. To all those who wander up and down DoG Street: think about the street's very different appearance before Colonial Williamsburg and many buildings were removed during its development. The stereoview below shows a very familiar building (the powder magazine), which had a very different setting prior to CW.
  • TikTok
    Posted October 8, 2021
    April 13th, 2021 marks the entry of the first TikTok into William & Mary’s Special Collections web archives.

Current Exhibit

  • Yearbook photo of Pu Kao Chen, William & Mary Class of 1923

    The Asian Centennial at William & Mary: Pu Kao Chen '23

    Swem Library Entrance Gallery
    October 7, 2021 to December 31, 2021

    In 1921, Pu Kao (P. K.) Chen, a Chinese international student from Tsing Hua College in “Peking” (Beijing), boarded the steamship China to come study at William & Mary. In doing so, he became the first Asian student, and the first student of color on record to attend W&M