A Treasure Trove of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Early National Periods

Portrait of St. George Tucker, (1752-1827)Currently, the Tucker-Coleman Papers are undergoing a serious overhaul. Groups of boxes are being subdivided into intuitive series within the collection, and the finding aids for each are going digital, making the Tucker Coleman Papers more accessible to researchers than ever.

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Diary of an Ocean Voyage to Latin America

Sketch of San Jose, Guatemala, 17 Aug. 1934. Marie Katherine and Oliver E. Seegelken Papers, 1918-1943 (Mss. Acc. 2014.083)In the period “between the wars,” Marie Seegelken and her husband Oliver embarked on a cruise from Los Angeles to Cristobal, Panama. The couple left Los Angeles on August 7, 1934 after dining the night before at the California Yacht Club. The passengers started their voyage on the SS Santa Catalina but were transferred to the SS Santa Elena for the voyage home where they arrived on September 4. Both ships were part of the W. R. Grace Company line.

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Left in the Lurch

Excerpt of Letter, Asher Marx, New York, New York to Moses Myers, Norfolk, Virginia, 1819 June 14In 1819 Asher Marx (no relation to Groucho) wrote a letter to Moses Myers of Norfolk, Virginia complaining about his money problems, saying that his credit would have been sufficient to support his family but Wilson & Cunningham “left me in the Lurch” for $40,000.  Did they really use that expression in the early 19th century?  Was Asher the one who coined the phrase?  Does the Special Collections Archive have an important piece of etymological history?

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Centering animals in archival research

"Poodle" in Vier und zwanzig Abbildungen verschiedener Hunde by Magnus Brasch. Nürnberg, in der Raspischen Buchhandlung, 1789. Rare Book N7660 .B7 Chapin-HorowitzTracing the histories of oppressed groups is notoriously difficult as their members may have been prevented from attaining educational or material resources that would allow them to keep records of their experiences. Or their existence may have been deemed so inconsequential that they were simply excluded from or misrepresented by larger data sources like census records, upon which researchers often rely. Consider the especially elusive nature of historical records that detail the lived experiences of nonhuman animals in a society where they are largely regarded as objects, property, or pests.

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K.O.B. Ribbon Society

K.O.B. Group Photo, circa 1931This image of female students of the K.O.B. ribbon society surrounding the Botetourt Statue appeared in the 1931 Colonial Echo yearbook. Shortly after William & Mary became a co-ed in 1918, “a certain group of girls who found each other’s company congenial, decided to form a ribbon society.” As a precursor to the current sorority system, selected William & Mary female students formed the G.G.G. club and others the K.O.B. club. K.O.B. members “wore a yellow ribbon on their wrists once each month and on special occasions” as a mark of their membership in the ribbon society.

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Beautiful Penmanship

Chart, Wilson Miles Cary Genealogical Notebook, circa 1900-1914, Mss. MsV Ad2One of the most beautifully executed manuscript volumes in the Special Collections Research Center is a genealogy notebook compiled by Wilson Miles Cary (1838-1914). Cary, the grandnephew of Thomas Jefferson, was born in Harford County, Md. and later lived in Baltimore, Md. where he served as a court clerk and also pursued his genealogy interest.

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Recent Women’s History Acquisitions in Special Collections

Diary entry for July 4, 1889 with American Flag.In honor of Women’s History Month, Swem Library Special Collections would like to highlight two of its most recent acquisitions related to women’s history. The  Rowena Goddard Diary is a travel diary kept by Rowena while traveling with her mother in Germany during the spring and summer of 1889. Some of the sites she visited while in Germany include Berlin, Dresden, Bohemia, Karlstad and Bayreuth. In her diary, Goddard wrote of taking German lessons and socializing with other students, seeing and describing the Kaiser in Berlin, making sketches of the countryside, and getting her fortune told among other topics. The diary also contains loose drawings, train tickets, and flowers. Here are some photographs of different pages from the diary:

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