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"The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at William & Mary enjoys the distinction of being the oldest modern languages program in the United States. The Department traces its beginnings to the establishment of a professorship in modern languages at the College of William & Mary in a curriculum reform instituted by Thomas Jefferson in 1779. The first occupant of this position was an Italian, Carlo Bellini, and a series of annual lectures at the College has been established by the department in his honor. Today that single professorship has grown to nearly 50 faculty members offering courses in eight languages, literature and culture. Faculty members of every rank are engaged in teaching at all levels, in study abroad programs, in a variety of research activities, and in service to the College, the community and the profession."1

Materials in the Special Collections Research Center


Department of Modern Languages and Literatures webpage


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A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.