Oral Histories

The University Archives Oral History Collection consists of transcripts and recordings of oral history interviews conducted as a part of various projects at William & Mary. Interviews with university administrators, faculty, and alumni are represented in this collection. Some of the projects include:

  • The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP)
    The WDP collects, preserves, interprets, and distributes information on the Williamsburg area’s rich non-colonial history. The WDP collection contains oral histories and digital artifacts pertaining to Williamsburg and William & Mary in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The project is run by the American Studies Program at William & Mary, and American Studies undergraduate students provide most of the research work for the Project.
  • Stony the Road We Trod
    This collection began as an independent study project conducted by William & Mary student Jenay Jackson, class of 2005. This oral history project was intended to serve as the initial part of an ongoing project to document the history of African Americans at William & Mary.
  • Stephens Project
    Established in memory of Stephen H. Snell and Stephen E. Patrick, the Stephens Project seeks to document the stories of the lives of William & Mary GLBTQ alumni, faculty, staff, and students. It is a long range (multi-year) oral history project coordinated by Swem Library, which will record the personal experiences of individuals while concentrating on their years at or associated with William & Mary. 
  • 50th Anniversary of African Americans in Residence
    The 50th Anniversary of African Americans in Residence Project highlights and celebrates the first African-American residential students - Karen Ely, Lynn Briley, and Janet Brown - and all of the individuals who preceded them and have followed them. More broadly, this project chronicles the lived experience of African Americans on William and Mary's campus since 1951.
  • 100 Years of Coeducation
    In 2018-19, W&M celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the arrival of 24 young women as students at William & Mary. Some were daughters of local faculty members. Others came from as far away as Lynchburg, Roanoke, and the Eastern Shore. A few of them went on to become teachers; one became a doctor. We are proud to honor them all today. This collection features their stories.

Where to find these stories

Our most recent oral histories can be found on our oral history website. This site includes the 50th Anniversary of African Americans, 100 Years of Coeducation, and the W&M Administration collection. Others can be found in the digital archive.