In 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?
The centerpiece of the College’s Memorial Garden is a towering bronze sculpture of a dove, created by David Turner, class of 1983. Turner’s sculptures appear all over campus, including Bald Eagles in the Sadler Center and Great Blue Heron and Marsh Wren in the Crim Dell.
Tracing 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.
This 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.
One 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.
Col. Patrick Henry marked out an area “behind the College” for the Virginia Militia camp during the period 1775-1781. This indicates that the camp was behind (west) of the Wren Building which was always referred to as “the College” in the eighteenth century.
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:
We lost an icon with the death of Shirley Temple Black on February 10, 2014. As a child actor, she captured the hearts of millions of Americans. Later in life, she served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia, and Chief of Protocol of the United States.