100 Years of Student History

If you’re a senior at the College, you may know the Colonial Echo through their emails reminding you to get your portrait taken. If you’re an underclassman, perhaps you’ve seen the Colonial Echo up for grabs around campus at the end of the Spring semester. For those still unfamiliar, the Colonial Echo is William & Mary’s student yearbook; it’s a record of the events throughout the year and the students who matriculated. The Colonial Echo was first published in 1899, and has been published every year since then except for 1900 and 1904. That means there have been over 100 editions of the yearbook, and Special Collections has a copy (or multiples) of every edition. While physical copies are available, you don’t have to actually come into Special Collections to view the Colonial Echo – the 1899-1995 yearbooks have been digitized. To give you a glimpse into W&M’s history, we pulled the 1917 Colonial Echo. Exactly 100 years from the current academic year, this yearbook is a great example of what has – and has not – changed on campus since its publication.

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Medicine and Slavery at the College of William & Mary

The records of the Office of the Bursar contain an array of financial information dating back to the 18th century. One of the more interesting aspects of these records that has recently come to light pertains to the College of William and Mary’s involvement in the slave trade. Many of the documents contain references to enslaved people who were held by the College as well as payments to slaveholders for the hire of their slaves. These references shed light on the use of enslaved people in the everyday functioning of the College.

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Bursar’s Records: Skins and Furs

The Bursar’s Records contain accounting and financial information for the College of William and Mary dating back to the mid 1700s. Unfortunately, some of these records have been lost due to fires and other events. However, the surviving records contain a wide variety of information that illuminate different aspects of life in early Virginia. For instance, one folder titled, “Statements of Revenue from Skins and Furs, 1763-1773” may provide useful information for anyone studying the environmental history of early Virginia, transatlantic trade, or capitalism in the Atlantic World.

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Enslaved People as Collateral

The records of the Office of the Bursar contain a wide array of financial information dating back to the 18th century. Recently, these records have provided additional information about the College of William & Mary’s involvement in slavery and the slave trade. Many of the documents contain references to enslaved people who were held by the College, as well as payments to slaveholders for hiring enslaved people. These references show some of the ways that using enslaved people played an important role in the everyday functioning of the College.

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