Colonial Williamsburg Research Division Web Site

Online Resources

The Library develops indexes, databases, and finding aids; scans full text primary source documents, subscribes to commercial databases and selects free Internet resources relevant to the academic and professional studies of eighteenth-century British America and the Early American Republic. These sources encompass text and images pertaining to the social life, architecture, language, politics, trades, decorative and performing arts, and literature of the times.

Search the Library Catalog
Type in a keyword, subject, author or call number, choose the appropriate search from a dropdown menu and click “Find”. The results will include not only Rockefeller’s holdings, but also the holdings of the William and Mary libraries. To find what is at Rockefeller, refine the search using menu choices on the results screen.
Search Other Libraries Using WorldCat
WorldCat (, a service of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), is the largest library network in the world. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their free resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information. Type your search term into the box on the right for an instant link to WorldCat.
The Periodical Finder
This growing list of periodicals to which Colonial Williamsburg researchers have access to, both online and on paper.
The Digital Library
The Digital Library is a selection of primary sources and original research held by the Library. It contains more than 500 research reports, scanned images and encoded texts numbering several thousand manuscript pages.
The Virginia Gazette, 1736-1780
One of the Library's most important digital collections is the full collection of the Virginia Gazettes published in eighteenth-century Williamsburg. More than 8,000 digital images are available. If you know the issue you want to see, select the Browse option below: otherwise, you may Search the 1,300-page index to the Virginia Gazette produced by Lester J. Cappon and Stella F. Duff in 1950 for the Institute for Early American History and Culture.
Free Options Subscription Databases which include the Virginia Gazette (Colonial Williamsburg only)
Date Browse Accessible Archives includes a keyword searching and transcripts
Index Search by Subject Newsbank (America's Historical Newspapers) includes keyword, and printing options.
Projects using the Virginia Gazette
  • Today in the 1770's
  • Tradesmen in the Virginia Gazette focuses on advertisements placed by and for tradespeople in the Virginia Gazette and includes advertisements from these years: 1736, 1737, 1740, 1745, 1746, 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1766, 1768, 1769, 1771, 1776, 1777, 1779, and 1780.

Subscription Database Links
The Database Links in the dropdown box below include links to subscription databases that are available to Colonial Williamsburg users only. Read descriptions of these databases and contact the Reference Desk for more information.
Finding Aids and Indexes
Finding aids are collections of references and indices for specific collections at Colonial Williamsburg. They are available in a variety of formats (html, pdf and database) and include such topics as the Colonial Williamsburg Publications Indexes, Genealogical Resources Guides, Photographic Collection Guides and Picture Indexes and Special Collections Guides.
Searchable Databases
Designed by Colonial Williamsburg staff, these databases provide access to favorite reference sources.
Internet finding aids compiled by our library staff. Each topic page has links to a wealth of resources on the Web.
Genealogical Research
A list of resources to assist genealogical research. These include some of library's finding aids, links to websites outside the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a contact form to request help from one of our librarians.
School Projects
A list of resources helpful for school projects. These include some of library's finding aids, links to websites outside the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a contact form to request help from one of our librarians.
Internet Links
This list of professional resources includes links to websites outside the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. An alphabetical list and topical lists are available.