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Williamsburg (Va.) Area Ephemera Collection

Identifier: Mss. 1.09

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection covers the Greater Williamsburg Area, including Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, James City County, York County and other nearby communities. It includes gifts and purchases whose contents are ephemeral in nature and not well-suited as stand-alone collections.  The items are usually transient documents of everyday life and can include menus, flyers, advertisements, and programs but can also be postcards, games, ticket stubs, and the like.

The majority of materials in Series 2 have been collected and contributed by the Williamsburg Historic Records Association (WHRA).  New items will be added on an ongoing basis. For this reason, the indicated date range is approximate at this point.

Most tourist related ephemera is filed under Series 2, Area Attractions.  The remainder of the ephemera relates to the activities, government and life of the local residents of the Williamsburg area.

Some of the 20th century ephemera was accessioned as gifts from The Williamsburg Press (owner Bill Royal) and the Virginia Gazette but are filed by subject.


  • Creation: 1858-2015


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.

Historical Note:

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


14.60 Linear Feet

Arrangement of Materials:

Series 1 is a single collection of postcards, ephemera, and research.  In Series 2, the ephemera is divided into subjects, and in Series 3, the ephemera is divided into genre.

Acquisition Information:

Most accessions are gifts via the Williamsburg Historical Records Association. Includes Acc. 1995.52, 1996.37, 1996.10; 1996.26;1996.28; 1998.43; 1999.02; 1999.13; 1999.25; 2000.25;2001.25; 2002.20; 2003.19; 2003.24; 2003.30; 2003.33; 2003.62; 2004.21; 2004.28; 2005.08; 2005.09; 2005.43 2006.20; 2006.83; 2007.07; Acc. 2007.08;  2007.95; 2008.01; 2008.09; 2008.40; 2008.65; 2009.112; 2009.014; 2009.12;0 2009.009 and 2009.330. For information on accession received after May 2009, please consult a staff member.


Additions are being made to this collection on an ongoing basis.

Related Materials:

Ephemera and, more generally, printed materials donated through the WHRA are accessible through this Ephemera Collection. Other organizational records and personal papers donated by or through the WHRA are described in separate catalog records with WHRA as added creator. Furthermore, all WHRA records will have at least one subject heading 'Williamsburg (Va.)--History--[century] to facilitate access.

Related Collections include:  Mss. 2006.47 Williamsburg Historic Records Association Organizational Records;  Virginia Cities Williamsburg (Mss. 39.4 V82ci); Virginia Counties James City, York County(Mss. 39.4 V82) and S. F. (Bill) Royall, Jr. Papers (Mss. Acc. 1989.02).

Processing Information:

Accessions starting in 2009 were accessioned and processed by Ute Schechter and Ben Bromley.  Items from the backlog were entered by Anne Johnson in 2008 with further detail added by Alex Dodd in 2009.

In April 2015, the collection was reorganized into subject and genre, removing the associated accession numbers except with Series 2, Sub-series 4, Photographs. The Tatler newsletter was transferred to Rare Books.  Some emphemera material was transferred to existing collections, such as the Woman's Club of Williamsburg.  Newspaper clippings with biographical information about local citizens or of historical interest were kept and filed in the subseries Clippings.  Obituary clippings were removed.


Genre / Form



Guide to the Williamsburg (Va.) Area Ephemera Collection
Special Collections staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • May 24th, 2018: Series 1 folder list was added by Anne Johnson in March 2015 and Series 2 was reorganized into subject and genre in April 2015.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository