The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Swem Library contains numerous sources on a wide range of topics. For the past few months, I have been creating Guides that organize a number of these sources into specific categories. Essentially, the Guides are supposed to highlight those sources that might be of some relevance to particular topics.
This semester, I began by working on a Guide for Armed Conflicts & the Military. As it turns out, SCRC contains a number of sources on the numerous military conflicts throughout U.S. History. For example, I came across documents that concerned everything from the major confrontations such as the World Wars to the lesser known interventions and uprisings such as the Boxer Rebellion. Currently, I’m planning on using the diary that missionary Lousie A. W. Galt kept during the Boxer Rebellion as a major source for a term paper.
Next, I turned my attention to Latin America and the Caribbean, which certainly features some overlap with the guide on military conflicts. Other than the sources related to military interventions, I encountered a good amount of materials on travel and tourism. There are also some notable sources on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Another Guide that highlights some of the many sources here at the SCRC, the Guide for Education & Teaching, could perhaps be more wide ranging than I have made it. Many of the materials at SCRC concern education and teaching, making it fairly challenging to summarize them in a clear and concise manner. The section on Student Notes, for example, simply points users in the direction of the SCRC Database, which currently features 161 student notebooks. On the other hand, I was particularly struck by the many sources on women students at William & Mary, who were first allowed into the college in the fall of 1918.
One of the Guides that I recently completed, the Guide on Films & Cinema, includes a number of notable sources, including a section that links to the SCRC’s YouTube Page. Just recently, the SCRC uploaded video footage from the 1939 Homecoming Parade, which features some clips of the Sunken Garden. The SCRC also holds the papers of Glenn Close, the award winning actress who is a W&M graduate. Perhaps one day the SCRC will also get access to the Jon Stewart papers!
Currently, I am working on a Guide for Gender and Sexuality. I’ve already tracked down a number of sources that could certainly be useful to students and researchers. Hopefully, I’ll have the Guide ready before the end of the semester.
Edward Hunt is a graduate student in the American Studies program and the 2011-2012 Humanities Computing Apprentice in the Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library.