Past Exhibits

  • Exploring 50 Years of African American in Residence at William & Mary

    September 15, 2017 to June 30, 2018

    When Janet Brown, Lynn Briley, and Karen Ely first moved into their freshmen dorms in Jefferson Hall at William & Mary, they were unaware of the significance of their presence — the three women were the first African Americans in residence at the university.

  • Oral Histories Commemorating 50 years of African Americans in Residence at William & Mary

    August 31, 2017 to May 10, 2018

    As a part of the commemorative efforts, William & Mary’s oral historian, alongside Special Collections and the 50th Anniversary Committee, is recording the stories of alumni, faculty and staff in an effort to gain a greater understanding of the experiences of African Americans living on campus during these first fifty years.

  • The Mademoiselle Zare Papers

    March 22, 2018 to April 18, 2018

    The Mademoiselle Zare Papers give us a peek into the life of a woman who not only worked for herself, but made a living telling customers the secrets that could be uncovered in the palm of their hand.

  • The People Behind W&M

    February 12, 2018 to March 11, 2018

    This year’s Charter Day marked the 325th anniversary of the founding of The College of William & Mary by William III and Mary II, the first and (to date) only joint-monarchs in British history. An exhibition in the lobby at Swem Library brings the focus to William and Mary – the people, not the university.

  • Travel for Curiosity, Adventure, and Profit in Early Modern Europe

    June 21, 2017 to February 25, 2018

    This exhibition shows only a sampling of the travel books in Swem Library’s Special Collections at William & Mary. The works on display describe the world in words but also with maps and topographical views as well as pictures of plants, animals, and people; that convey in words and images the languages, history, and mores of the places visited in the early modern period.

  • The Nancy H. Marshall "A Visit from St. Nicholas" Collection of Clement Clark Moore's Immortal Poem

    December 1, 2017 to January 2, 2018

    Drawing inspiration from Moore’s words, “The children were nestled all snug in their beds, / While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads,” the focus of this year’s exhibit is the food culture of Christmas, highlighted both in Moore’s poem and in the wide variety of other books and items in this collection.

  • Expressions through Ink and Brush

    October 17, 2017 to December 22, 2017

    This exhibit features student artwork from Chinese calligraphy courses taught at William & Mary in MLL's Chinese Studies Program.

  • Found at Swem

    November 3, 2017 to November 30, 2017

    This collection features objects that our patrons left behind in library books or around the building. Many were not exactly lost but rather forgotten; others may have been more purposely left behind.

  • June 16, 2017 to September 17, 2017

    The verdict is in: We love our pets! Staff at Swem Library and affiliated organizations have submitted images and videos of their beloved pets. We hope you enjoy our companions as much as we do.

  • December 22, 2016 to September 10, 2017

    Special Collections highlights the contributions of pug-enthusiast donors to our collection of dog-related materials, which range from books and representations in popular culture to ephemera and fine art.