The records of the Office of the Bursar are some of the earliest and most comprehensive records of the College of William and Mary, some from the 18th century survive to the present day! The accounts document the financial interactions of the College of William & Mary and its personnel in the 18th-19th centuries. While many people might not associate accounting records with interesting historical revelations, the Bursar records are an excellent example of how a wealth of diverse information can be tucked away in the seemingly mundane. For instance, a folder titled “Bursar Accounts, 1804-1818,” with documents titled “Accounts of Receipts and Expenditures” contains a trove of information regarding the College’s involvement with slavery.
The Special Collections Research Center, located on the first floor of Swem Library, is hosting an Open House this Saturday, October 24, from 9am-11am. We will showcase select items from University Archives as well as our general manuscript and rare book collections, highlighting both examples of philanthropy and firsts at William & Mary.
Have you ever found an old website with the Wayback Machine or played the 1990 version of Oregon Trail in your browser? If you have, you’ve used the services of the Internet Archive, which Brewster Kahle founded in 1996 and which has captured and preserved over 366 billion websites since then. Here’s a shot of the home page for William & Mary in 1997: