Swem library

Swem Library

Earl Gregg Swem Library (established in 1966, renovated in 2005) is the main library on campus. In 2005, Swem completed a $36 million renovation that added over 100,000 square feet to the library.

As you step through the main entrance, you will see the Information Commons area of the library. On the left-hand side there is a colorful mural that commemorates and honors the first three African-American women in residence at William & Mary. The wing to your right on the first floor houses the Special Collections Department, which includes letters from Thomas Jefferson, papers from former Chief Justice Warren Burger, and other historical documents. Swem holds approximately 1.25 million volumes, 1 million microforms, and 500,000 government documents. The Swem librarians are incredibly helpful; they have a chat function on their website and a very active Twitter presence so you can talk with them from the comfort of your dorm room. While in the library, students can rent out laptops, chargers, headphones, and other digital equipment to take anywhere in the building.

An art gallery, interactive media center, studio rooms, and electronic classroom are located downstairs on the ground floor. There is also a coffee shop (a branch of the Williamsburg coffee shop Aromas that accepts Dining Dollars!) and a 24-hour study lounge located just to the right as you exit the double doors of the library.

Swem also houses the Office of Academic Advising. Through this office, all students are assigned a professor in their area of interest as a pre-major who will advise them about registering for classes in their first two years here at William & Mary. As part of declaring their major, students are able to choose their own major advisor who will then assist with their course selection once they are officially a part of that department.

Swem is home to our Tribe Tutor Zone, one of our academic enrichment programs where students can be tutored by peers for a low cost. Tutors are faculty-recommended students who are trained to help their fellow students learn independent study skills in particular topics.

Fun Fact: Swem is the backup to the Library of Congress.

As you exit Swem, take a sharp left, follow the path around the library, and proceed down the stairs. Bear right at the bottom of the stairs onto Landrum Drive and turn left to walk up the hill towards the Crim Dell.

William & Mary Self-Guided Walking Tour
  1. Washington Hall
  2. McGlothlin-Street Hall
  3. Old Campus Residence Halls
  4. Integrated Science Centers
  5. Andrews Hall
  6. Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall
  7. Morton Hall
  8. Jones Hall
  9. Small Hall
  10. Swem Library
  11. Crim Dell Bridge
  12. Sadler Center
  13. Cohen Career Center
  14. Zable Stadium
  15. James Blair Hall