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For basic information about Jamestown, Virginia consult the guide for Genealogy Resources at Swem, which includes a section on early settlers at Jamestown.

Land patents and grants from the Library of Virginia are available at 

Swem Library Exhibit

The exhibit "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny: Jamestown Revisited" was open in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and the adjoining Nancy H. Marshall Gallery from March-August 2007. In honor of the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown, Swem Library developed this three-part exhibit on Jamestown.1

The first section was a brief discussion of the background to the establishment of Virginia, particularly the transformation of medieval Europe and the early European exploration and colonization of the Americas. Some of Swem's most precious rare books, including five dating from before 1600, helped illustrate this background. Another section examined the vastly different ways in which scholars have interpreted the early years of Jamestown, frequently using the same sources. Many of these scholars have been affiliated at one time or another with the College of William & Mary, whether as students, faculty, or fellows.

The final and largest part of the exhibit, in the Nancy H. Marshall Gallery, examined past Jamestown anniversary commemorations from 1807 to 1957. The focus was two-fold: placing the anniversaries in Jamestown Exposition postcard their appropriate historical contexts and depicting William & Mary's participation in the events. On display were invitations, letters, programs, photographs, and other memorabilia. Items of special interest included a letter from a woman weary of the 1807 jubilee; an 1857 article in Harper's Weekly featuring that year's commemoration, complete with graphics; some of the earliest photographs of archaeology at Jamestown; a stunning enlargement of an original postcard in Swem's collection of the "Great White Fleet" that sailed from the 1907 Jamestown Exposition; racist postcards from the 1907 Exposition; and assorted material relating to Queen Elizabeth's visit in 1957.



Want to find out more?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for other resources to help you find materials of interest.

Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090.

A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.