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University Archives Artifact Collection 1693-[ongoing] 1900-2011

Identifier: 00-05-UA 13

Scope and Contents

The University Archives Artifact Collection is an artificial collection of artifacts and memorabilia documenting and related to the College of William and Mary. Artifacts received by the University Archives that are not part of the records of an individual university department or personal papers are made a part of the University Archives Artifact Collection.

Images of a growing number of artifacts are available through the SCRC's Flickr account at

The University Archives Artifact Collection, from 18th century spectacles to a 20th century plastic frisbee, gives a fascinating tangible view of life and are a rich supplement to the paper records in the SCRC. Most of these highly diverse items are representative of some group or activity at the College, but some are in the SCRC because they were owned by a William and Mary-affiliated person. Most artifacts were donated by alumni or their families.

Twentieth-century materials comprise the bulk of the artifacts collection, including athletic memorabilia, plaques, and general mementos of life as a student. From such items as freshman initiation beanies ("duc" caps) and paddles it is easy to see that students have always been interested in more than just the academic side of college life. Well-represented in the collection is 20th century clothing, including women's gym bloomers, t-shirts, belt buckles, athletic jackets, academic regalia, and baseball uniforms.

The University Archives is also the keeper of such College of William and Mary treasures as the College and Marischal Maces that lead all formal convocations, the Rector's and Chancellor's badges and chains of office, and two of the original stones which marked the boundaries of the College. The maces and badges are usually on display in the SCRC in the Earl Gregg Swem Library.

Acc. 2004.015 The Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Award of Excellence to Sir Christopher Wren Building, Presentation, Renewal and Replacement, November 10, 2001.


  • 1693-2014
  • Majority of material found in 1900-2011


Language of Materials

English Greek,Ancient(to1453) Hebrew

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Administrative History:

Information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


9.45 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

Series include: Textiles, Decorative Objects, Art, Recreational Objects, and Buildings and Grounds. This collection is currently being evaluated by staff and rehoused by series.

Custodial History:

The Phi Beta Kappa key received in 1909 by John Stewart Bryan, the small token or charm in the form of a golden football presented to John Stewart Bryan as honorary captain of the William and Mary football team in 1942, and the ODK key presented to John Stewart Bryan in 1934 were a gift received on 5/17/1935 (Mss. Acc. 1946-35).

Acc. 2007.012 gift of Helen Rolfe 06/06/2007; the watch chain was given to her father by Mrs. J. ___ Potts [writing unclear]. See note inside box top.

Acc. 2008.131 was previously part of the University Archives Publications Collection.

Acquisition Information:

Information about acquisitions is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.


The University Archives adds material to this collection on a regular basis as items are transferred by university offices or given by individuals and organizations.

Separated Materials

A photograph of a member of the Queen's Guard was separated from Acc. 2009.274 and transferred to the University Archives Photograph Collection (UA 8) on 6/30/2009.

Two magnets featuring the Spring 2005 and Winter 2006-2007 home game schedules at William and Mary were pulled from the Athletics Department Records (UA 181) and added to this collection on 7/27/2011.

Various awards and plaques were taken from the Athletics Department records (UA 181) , Acc. 2011.535, and were transferred to this collection on 8/15/2011.

Acc. 2011.384-400 and Acc. 2011.718 were previously part of the University Archives Subject File Collection (UA 9) and were added to this collection on 12/20/2011.

Thomas Millington's wash drawing of the Brafferton, Wren Building, and President's House was transferred from the University Archives Artifact Collection (UA 13) to the Thomas Millington Collection (MS 00306) on July 29, 2019.

Processing Information:

Accessions from 2008 forward accessioned and described by Steven Bookman, University Archives Specialist. Acquisition information for material received after 7/13/2009 is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.
Guide to the University Archives Artifact Collection 1693-[ongoing] 1900-2011
Finding Aid Authors: Finding Aid Authors: Special Collections Staff..
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository