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Beanies worn by first-year students at William & Mary in the twentieth century were known as duc caps. The word "duc" was a shortening of the word "introductory" and referred to the introductory courses underclassmen were enrolled in. The term ducs was also generally used to apply to classes. Students commonly stitched their name on the back of their hat. Male hats usually had a bill.

Numerous examples of the duc caps from the 1920s through the 1970s are part of the University Archives Artifact Collection in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) in Swem Library. See the SCRC's Flickr account for a variety colors and styles of the duc cap including one example of the university's first school colors, orange and black.

Material in the Special Collections Research Center


  • SCRC File.


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To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for other resources to help you find materials of interest.

Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090.

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.