Francis Nicholson Library

Title page of the History of the Council of Trent.The Nicholson collection seeks to replicate the gift of books donated in 1698 by Francis Nicholson (1655-1728), colonial governor of Virginia and benefactor of the then newly founded college. He gave approximately 150 titles, all of which were lost in the Wren Building fire of 1705. A list of his gift survives in the Fulham Palace Archives in London, England.

Since the 1960s, Swem Library has endeavored to purchase the titles and editions listed on the surviving inventory by using funds provided by the National Society Colonial Daughters of the Seventeenth Century. So far we have acquired over 100 titles, and continue our effort of replicating W&M's original library.

Search or browse the collection in the library catalog.