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History

46 Pages
  • Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Colonial Capitol Branch

    The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) and its branches are dedicated to preserving and promoting the state's irreplaceable historic structures, landscapes, collections, communities and archaeological sites. The APVA was officially formed in 1889. In 2003, the APVA…
  • Books Owned by William & Mary Prior to 1793

    The College of William & Mary owned over 4,000 books by 1793, making it the second largest collegiate library in the United States, behind only Harvard. These books came from a variety of different sources; however, only the titles of the most well known or ones that are currently extent are…
  • Books to use for college history research

    For your research related to William & Mary, you should begin by reviewing the guide from Swem Library on conducting research about William & Mary. Contents
  • Boundary stones

    Two 17th century boundary stones erected to mark the property of William & Mary survive. One of the stones can be seen in a display case located on the first floor of Swem Library, near the Lemonade mural.
  • Christopher Newport University

    The General Assembly of Virginia established Christopher Newport College as a non-residential branch college of William & Mary in 1960 to serve the citizens of the Peninsula community. Christopher Newport College was named after Captain Christopher Newport, who led the historic voyage of the…
  • Coat of Arms

    William & Mary was the first American institution of higher learning with a royal coat of arms. It was issued on May 14, 1694 by the College of Arms in London. The buildings featured are not modeled on buildings at William & Mary as the coat of arms was received before construction of the…
  • College closure

    The College of William & Mary was closed during the following periods:
  • College Flag

    The official College Flag of William & Mary was adopted in 1998 by the Board of Visitors. The flag has a green background with the university's Coat of Arms in the middle of the flag. The flag was presented to the College of William & Mary by William F. Mirguet, Jr., class of 1962 and a…
  • Colleges of William & Mary

    The Colleges of William & Mary was the name of a short-lived educational system in Virginia. It included William & Mary, the Richmond Professional Institute, the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary, Christopher Newport College, and Richard Bland College.
  • Divinity Chair

    A Divinity Chair was mentioned in William & Mary's Royal Charter.
  • Duc caps

    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.…
  • Dueling

    There have been a number of duels and near duels over the course of William & Mary's history.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Visit, 1946

    U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited Williamsburg and William & Mary in 1946 with Winston Churchill and again in 1953 while serving as President. During his 1953 visit to campus Eisenhower was awarded an honorary degree.
  • Earned Degrees

    Earned Degrees at William & Mary B.S. Bachelor of Science B.A. Bachelor of Arts B.B.A. Bachelor of Business Administration B.C. Bachelor of Chemistry (1930's) B.C.L. Bachelor of Civil Law (original law degree, changed to LL.B. in 1920's, then reverted back to B.C.L.) B.L. Bachelor of Law…
  • Fires

    There have been a number of fires on the grounds of William & Mary throughout its history. This list provides a brief chronological list of those fires.
  • Flu Pandemic of 1918

    Material in the SCRC Thomas Nelson Page Papers Austin-Twyman Papers under Series I, Subseries II, folders 101 and 115. Overton Family Papers in Box XIII, folder 43. The Virginia Gazette, available in the SCRC and in Swem Library Microforms
  • Frenchman's Map

    The Frenchman's Map is a map of Williamsburg dated May 11, 1782. It was drafted by an unknown Frenchman probably stationed with Rochambeau's army. Its marvelous detail suggests perhaps a billeting map for the French army following the Battle of Yorktown. It has been called the "Bible of the…
  • Funding William & Mary

    In 1697, William & Mary President Rev. James Blair signed an agreement with the executors of the estate of the famous English scientist Robert Boyle, who bequeathed 5,400 pounds of his estate for "pious and charitable uses."
  • Hurricanes

    Information about hurricanes impacting William & Mary are compiled here. This page is a stub and information is incomplete. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science is naturally always a good source of information for both the study of the impact of hurricanes as well as direct hurricane impact…
  • Indentured servants

    Material in the Special Collections Research Center Abbot E. Smith Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, William & Mary. (his book is included below) Virginia Gazette Index, 1736-1780: 2 volumes, call number AI21 .V5; copies are also available in Swem Library in Microforms…
  • Ku Klux Klan Flagpole

    In 1926, the College of William & Mary accepted and used a flagpole donated by the Ku Klux Klan, but President Julian A. C. Chandler repudiated KKK politics in his remarks during the ceremony. "College presidents sometimes face difficult decisions, knowing that whatever they decide, someone…
  • Labor issues

    Labor issues have been a part of the history of William & Mary since its founding. Information about the relationship between the College and slavery and Women at William & Mary (particularly women faculty) is also available.
  • Lemon (before 1779-1817)

    Lemon was a man enslaved by the College of William & Mary. He labored on the College's tobacco plantation beyond Emporia, the Nottoway Plantation, and was in December 1779 "retained for cleaning the College, & other necessary Purposes" when others the College enslaved were hired out to work…
  • List of Surveyors for William & Mary

    In the Royal Charter establishing William & Mary, Article XVI appoints the college to serve as the Surveyor-General of the Colony of Virginia and was given the right to examine and license surveyors, collect the license fees and fees for each survey performed. Any who wished a surveyor's…
  • Medical Education at William & Mary

    The history of medical education at William & Mary begins with the founding of the Chair of Anatomy and Medicine on 4 December 1779 as a part of Thomas Jefferson's reforms of the College. While that chair was left vacant in 1783 there have been numerous attempts to restore medical education to…

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Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at spcoll@wm.edu 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.