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Earl Gregg Swem Papers

Identifier: Mss. 79 Sw4

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Papers, 1927-1965, of Earl Gregg Swem, librarian and historian. Includes correspondence, reports, poems, and newspaper clippings. Subjects covered by the collection include Virginia history, bibliography, American Library Association, Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, Colonial Williamsburg, College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa, Virginia Colonial Records Project, Virginia Historical Society, Jamestown Festival, Hampton Celebration, and the Virginia Historical Index. Correspondents include Alvin D. Chandler, Virginius Dabney, John Frederick Dorman, Douglas Southall Freeman, Fairfax Harrison, John M. Jennings, David John Mays, Davis Y. Paschall, James E. Pomfret, William M. E. Rachal and William Clayton Torrence.

Mss. 79 Sw4:  see PDF document (below) for inventory. 

Additions: see Finding Aid/Inventory.


  • Creation: 1927-1965

Language of Materials


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 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.

Biographical Information:

Earl Gregg Swem was born December 29, 1870 in Belle Plaine, Iowa. He graduated from Lafayette College (A.B. and A.M.) Swem worked as a high school instructor 1893-1900. He worked for the John Crerar Library, the Superintendent of Documents Library, the Armour Institute Library, was the chief of the cataloging division of the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, assistant Virginia State Librarian, and Librarian for the College of William and Mary. Swem compiled about forty finding lists and bibliographies, was managing editor of the William and Mary Quarterly and supervised the production of the Virginia Historical Index. He died in Louisville, Kentucky on 14 April 14, 1965.


11.50 Linear Feet

Acquisition Information:

Gifts from Earl Gregg Swem, Jr., Earl Gregg Swem, III and others. 1971.18 transferred to archives from manuscripts on 10/1/1971. 1982.34 Gift of Earl Gregg Swem III 1982.44 Gift of Earl Gregg Swem III 1987.02 Gift of Dr. Joseph Fields 1994.35 Gift of Thomas McDonnell 2004.50 Gift of Earl Gregg Swem III 2007.69 Gift of Bruton Parish Church 2007.105 Gift of Earl Gregg Swem III 2008.178 Material located while processing backlog material in 2009.

Related Materials:

See also the Earl G. Swem Family Papers and the Earl Gregg Swem Genealogy Collection; William and Mary Quarterly Records (UA 64).

Addition 2008.364 may have originally been part of Mss. 39.4 V82ci Williamsburg Papers, folders 4 and 5.

Processing Information:

Processed by Myra Curtis and Ron Colvin in 1979.

Processed by Jordan Ecker in 2008.

Box and folder lists updated by Patricia Sanabria, SCRC staff, in November of 2011.

Guide to the Earl Gregg Swem Papers
In Progress
Special Collections Staff.
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