Colonial Williamsburg Research Division Web Site

Public Services

Public Services Department staff facilitates use of the general collections of books, periodicals, and electronic databases, manages the online circulation system, interlibrary loan, and maintains stacks. Materials circulate to Foundation staff and to faculty and students of the College of William and Mary. Public Services staff is available during regular library hours.

We welcome inquiries of a scholarly nature, but our ability to respond to general reference questions is limited. We encourage scholars to visit and use our collections. If you would like an orientation upon your arrival, please schedule an appointment and include information about your topic and research goals.

Explore the indexes and guides compiled by staff:

Finding Aids and Indexes
Guides to library and web resources on Williamsburg or Virginia historical topics.
Favorite Colonial Topics
George Washington, food, money, Christmas, eighteenth-century trades, pirates, etc.
Internet Links
This list of professional resources includes links to websites outside the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. An alphabetical list and topical lists are available.
The Periodical Finder
This growing list of periodicals to which Colonial Williamsburg researchers have access to, both online and on paper.
Today in the 1770's
Intended to provide a glimpse into the breadth of subject matter in the Virginia Gazette, excerpts have been chosen for every day of the year and annotated by library staff.

Public Services staff have contributed bibliographic information for two colonial libraries to the Libraries of Early America Project:

Landon Carter Library
Books owned by Landon Carter (1710-1778) and his son Robert Wormeley Carter (1734-1794) of Sabine Hall .
Prentis Family Library
The Prentis Family Library documents the library belonging to four generations of a wealthy merchant family whose love of books and education was shared by male and female members alike. Most of the 17th and 18th century titles in the library belonged to Joseph Sr. and Joseph Jr. These titles along with 19th century additions made by Webb descendants of Joseph Prentis, Jr. are the reason the library is known as the Webb-Prentis Collection. In 1978 the collection was donated to and divided between the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Research Library.