“‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Everyone knows these famous lines even if the rest of the poems escapes them. “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known as The Night before Christmas, was written in 1823 by Clement C. Moore (1779-1863) and is a staple in many families’ holiday traditions. But what accounts for the poem’s enduring popularity?

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Lasting Impressions: Printing from the Fifteenth Century to Today

In the basement of Swem Library is a room used mostly for storage. Along two walls are machines and wooden cases full of drawers. The machines are printing presses and the cases are filled with type – individual letters cast in metal, designed to be set by hand and printed on the machines. The basic principle–of metal type used in a press–was a technology in use for five hundred years in the West, from the mid-fifteenth century until the twentieth. Now, however, our printing is done by different machines, with jets of ink replacing the metal letters of the past. An upcoming exhibition at Swem Library examines printing from the early days to the present, using some actual equipment, as well as early modern rare books and modern day private press books, all from Special Collections.

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The Library of Lady Jean Skipwith: “a small, but well-chosen library”

The recent acquisition of seven letters written by Sir Peyton Skipwith and one by Sir Gray Skipwith reveal what Sir Peyton thought of his wife Lady Jean’s library. The library is featured in an exhibit, Exceptional in Any Age, at Swem Library that will run through October 2016.

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In Alphabetical Order

Exhibit Poster for In Alphabetical OrderAt Homecoming this year, Special Collections opened a new exhibit showcasing selected items from our holdings arranged from A to Z. In Alphabetical Order: A Selection of Materials from Swem Library’s Special Collections was developed through a team effort with several staff and student workers involved.

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Scholarship on Display

"Scholarship on Display: Economics Department," on display in the Bright Gallery, 2nd Floor Rotunda of Swem Library from December 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.Each year, Swem Library displays W&M faculty scholarship from a selected department in its Bright Gallery. Previous exhibits have included scholarship from Psychology, Art and Art History, Geology, and Religious Studies, among others. “Scholarship on Display: Economics Department,” pictured right, is currently on display in the Bright Gallery, 2nd Floor Rotunda of Swem Library until September 30, 2015.

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