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Swem Library completes digitization of first 96 years of College's yearbook

  • Pages of time
    Pages of time  Richard Sherman (r), Professor Emeritus of History, and his wife Hanni look through copies of the Colonial Echo from Prof. Sherman's first ('60) and last years ('94)at the college. Prof. Sherman is familiar with the volumes - heread the first fifty years of the Colonial Echo cover to cover in preparation for helping to write the 1993 tercentenary history of the College. The Sherman's helped fund the digitization of Colonial Echos from 1899 to 1995.  Photo by Stephen Salpukas
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The Earl Gregg Swem Library is pleased to announce the launch of the Colonial Echo Digital Archive.  All volumes from 1899-1995 have been digitized in full color from cover to cover and are now available to the public. The Colonial Echo has been the student yearbook of the College of William & Mary since 1899. The collection may be viewed online. A reception to mark the launch of the Colonial Echo's digital archive will be held during William & Mary's Homecoming weekend on Friday, October 22nd, from 4-5 p.m., in Swem Library.

"The Colonial Echo means a great deal to members of the William & Mary community, especially to our alumni and their descendants.  Having it available online makes it that much easier for alums to remember their happy College days or for children to discover how geeky--or cool--their parents or grandparents were back in the day. The online version also is a boon for present-day students or scholars seeking to learn what William & Mary was like in the past," said Beatriz Hardy, interim dean of university libraries.
In addition to alumni, those interested in genealogy and the twentieth-century history of Williamsburg will find this collection valuable.  The volumes are treasures of not only photographs of students but information about student groups and activities, campus events, advertisements, student interpretations of the larger society, scenes of campus and the community, as well as information about university administrators and faculty during the yearbook's early years.

Associate Professor Arthur Knight, who oversees the Williamsburg Documentary Project, noted that "college yearbooks provide terrific information about the changing culture, social mores, fashions, and major events at one of our nation's most important institutions, its universities. William & Mary's Colonial Echo is a trove of information for researchers interested in the College's and Williamsburg's twentieth-century past."

Swem Library was able to digitize the 1899-1995 yearbooks through the support of funds established by School of Education Professor Emeritus Armand Galfo and his wife Mary, and History Professor Emeritus Richard Sherman and his wife Hanni. 

“Support of our alumni, Friends, and donors is vitally important to maintaining the high level of service Swem offers to the community.  We are very grateful to the Galfos and the Shermans for their support of Swem Library and the College of William & Mary. While the digitization of the Colonial Echo is an especially notable gift, in recent years they have designated other gifts to benefit the University Archives at Swem's Special Collections Research Center,” Hardy added.

The digitization of the Colonial Echo was completed by the Internet Archive and was possible through the LYRASIS Mass Digitization Collaborative with funding from LYRASIS members and the Sloan Foundation.

If you have any questions about this project and the works that have been digitized, please contact University Archivist and Acting Marian and Alan McLeod Director of the Special Collections Research Center Amy Schindler, or 757.221.3054.