William & Mary | Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Database


University Archives Artifact Collection, 1693-2014

University Archives Artifact Collection, 1693-2014
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.


Artifacts are organized according to Nomenclature 3.0 for Museum Cataloging: Third Edition of Robert G. Chenhall's System for Classifying Man-Made Objects, which is published by AltaMira Press in cooperation with the American Association for State and Local History. Nomenclature 3.0 classifies artifacts based on their purpose or function.

Categories include: Built Environment Artifacts, Furnishings, Personal Artifacts, Tools and Equipment For Materials, Tools and Equipment for Science and Technology, Tools and Equipment For Communications, Distribution and Transportation Artifacts, Communication Artifacts, Recreational Artifacts, and Unclassifiable Artifacts.

This collection is currently being evaluated, described, and rehoused by staff.

College of William and Mary
Society of the Alumni (1842-)
Awards and scholarships
College of William and Mary--Alumni and alumnae
College of William and Mary--Students
College of William and Mary.
College of William and Mary Anniversaries, etc
Fundraising campaigns
Graduation (School)
Student Organizations
Beanie cap
Buttons (information artifacts)
Lapel Pins

Detailed Description

Full Finding Aid/Box List

Administrative Information

1924. 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.
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.
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.
Acquisition Note
 Source: Various gifts, transfers, and purchases..
Information about acquisitions is available by consulting a Special Collections Research Center staff member.
Related Materials

Consult the collections of university departments, organizations, and individuals for related material. Images of some artifacts are available through the SCRC's Flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrc/.

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.

For more information please see http://www.flickr.com/photos/scrc/.
Preferred Citation
University Archives Artifact Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.
Finding Aid Revisions:
Online finding aid compiled from accession records and backlog. New accessions are added on an ongoing basis.
Collection Material Type:
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