A  Manuscripts and Rare Books Sampler

 We are pleased to present this website of a sampler of treasures from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Department. These treasures represent gifts and purchases over the last ninety years. Many of the items are classics in their own right; others are representative of larger collections. All are landmark works which reflect Swem Library's diversity and strength. Unfortunately, this website cannot convey the strength which the Department has in collections of materials relating to non-elites: ordinary people whose contributions are the fabric of our republic: cabinetmakers, carpenters, slaves, servants, women. In choosing to exhibit what curators refer to as treasures, we chose single works which are highlights of our holdings. We invite researchers to visit our library and dip into all of our collections.

Cataloging records for manuscripts and rare books are available through the online webcat.

Hand-colored Engraving 
of Hummingbirds
Mary Randolph's Virginia Housewife, 1824
Photograph of Elizabeth Van Lew, Civil War Spy  Lady Jean Skipwith's List of Flowers
Aliquando Press Broadside Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg, Va.
William Parks Imprint, 1719 Free Black Register, Rockbridge County, Va. l811-l828 
Illustration from West Running Brook by Robert Frost  Thomas Jefferson Letter in Code 
Martha Jefferson Letter, 8 August 1780 Chief Justice John Marshall's Student Law Notes
Christopher Wren Letter, 21 June l699  Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, l5 August l774
Tower Hill Plantation, Sussex County, Va. Dard Hunter's Stained Glass Window
John Marshall's Letter to "My dearest Polly", 8 August 1800 St. George Tucker's Diary of the Battle of Yorktown
William Bartram's Travels, 1791 First Printed English Indian Treaty, l677
St. George Tucker's  A Dissertation on Slavery, 1796 George Washington's Journal, 1753
Peyton Randolph House Hand-Colored Engraving of a Chinese Woman Embroidering 
Cotton Mather's Work on the Salem Witchcraft Trials, 1693 Fry and Jefferson Cartouche
Charles Mills Sheldon, English Journalist and Illustrator  Gideon's Band (Sheet Music)
Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women Phillis Wheatley, America's First Black Female Poet
St. George Tucker's Copy of Virginia's Bill of Rights  Williamsburg, Va. City Directory, l898
St. Augustine's De Civitate Dei, 1489 Daffodil from Curtis' Botannical Magazine 
Thomas Jefferson's Comments on the College of William and Mary Law School, in Letter of 26 July l780 Woodcuts from Henkel Press' ABC Book
Paul Revere Engraving Bookplate of the Peter Chapin Collection of Books About Dogs
John Caius on Cynegetica Frenchman's Map

Return to Special Collections Home Page
Return to Swem Library Home Page

College of William and Mary. Swem Library. Special Collections
P. O. Box 8794, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8794
Last updated October 28, 1998