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Thomas L. Williams collection

Identifier: MS 00254

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection includes photographs, negatives, slides, film, postcards, ephemera, correspondence and artifacts belonging to Thomas L. Williams, photographer for William & Mary for 35 years. He was also a photographer for Camp Peary and Colonial Williamsburg prior to working for William & Mary.


  • Creation: Circa 1940-1990


Conditions Governing Access

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 publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1912 in Shire Oaks, Pennsylvania, Thomas L. Williams studied photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After graduation, Mr. Williams enlisted in the Navy shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II and was stationed at Camp Peary, where he started the base's photography laboratory. While at Camp Peary, he shot many photographs for Colonial Williamsburg, who hired him shortly after World War II to start their photography section. After nine years at Colonial Williamsburg, Mr. Williams became the photographer for William & Mary, a position he held for 35 years. While at William and Mary, Mr. Williams photographed various events at the College, including Charter Day and Commencement ceremonies, the inauguration of Davis Y. Paschall as president of William & Mary, and the celebrations during Homecoming Weekend.


45 Linear Feet (100 boxes)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of daughter Karen Laufer

Related Materials

Thomas L. Williams Papers

University Archives Photograph Collection

Guide to the Thomas L. Williams collection
William & Mary Special Collections Research Center staff
2023 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository