From the warm and welcoming reading room to the frigid ground floor stacks, the Special Collections Research Center offers a wealth of historical resources, right at the heart of campus. I am grateful to have the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes look at the SCRC and explore many of its treasures this summer through Swem Library’s Mosaic Internship Program.
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.
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.
The College Airport was located on Airport Rd which runs perpendicular to Richmond Rd and Mooretown Rd. (click on image for larger view) At the time of construction in the early 1930s, it was suggested that the airport be named “Benjamin Ewell Field” after the former College president who owned a farm nearby. It was only used for a few years in the early 1930’s to teach flying to students.