Omohundro Institute

The Omohundro Institute (OI) is an independent research organization housed at William & Mary.

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture is one of the crown jewels of the American historical profession.

Annette Gordon-Reed L.H.D. ’10
Pulitzer Prize winner, 2009 recipient of the National Humanities Medal, MacArthur Fellow, and former Omohundro Institute Council member

Letter from the Director

The early American past is critical and exciting to research, write and read about, and to understand — and is intimately connected to the values of William & Mary. With William & Mary’s support, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture (OI) has set and maintained the highest standards of scholarly excellence for more than 70 years.

Since its founding in 1943, the OI has produced award-winning books; published the leading journal of early American history — the William and Mary Quarterly; sponsored conferences designed to bring scholars together for robust exchange; and established a respected fellowship program for junior scholars working on their first books. This is the scholarship that has framed early American history.

Support from individuals and foundations enables the OI to sustain its commitment to excellence in early American scholarship and to new initiatives.

Thank you for considering a gift to support the OI’s mission. 

Karin Wulf
Director
Omohundro Institute of  Early American History & Culture 

Support the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

The Omohundro Institute (OI) is an independent research organization housed at William & Mary.

The Institute of Early American History and Culture was established in 1943 by founding sponsors William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. William & Mary remains the primary sponsor of the OI today; the name of benefactors Mr. and Mrs. Malvern H. Omohundro, Jr., was added in 1996 to recognize their generous support.

The OI runs three major scholarly programs: publications including the William and Mary Quarterly, the leading journal of early American history, and an award-winning book series; conferences; and fellowships.

Please consider a gift in support of the Omohundro Institute and its mission of leading early American scholarship.

Shawn A. Holl, Director of Development

757-221-1141

Priorities

The Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture has an international reputation for building intellectual infrastructure. Since 1943, the OI’s scope has encompassed the history and culture of early America, a capacious category including all of North America from circa 1450 to 1820 and related developments in Africa, the British Isles, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. 

Pillar I: Where Great Minds Meet | $9.5 million 

TEACHING EXCELLENCE

  • Scholarly Staff Positions
    Director | $5 million
    Editor of the William and Mary Quarterly | $3 million
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Positions
    Long-Term Residential Fellowship (2-year) | $1 million
    One-Year Postdoctoral Fellowship Package | $500,000

Pillar II: Making the Remarkable | $500,000 

ENGAGED LEARNING, INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION

  • William & Mary in the World
    Digital Scholarship and Communications
    Georgian Papers Programme | $500,000 

Omohundro Institute Publications and Programs 

The OI promotes scholars of early America and their scholarship through its renowned publications, conferences and fellowships.

The Omohundro Institute’s journal, the William and Mary Quarterly, is the leading journal of early American history. One of the founding journals in JSTOR, the William and Mary Quarterly is read more than 1.2 million times in digital formats each year and is still appreciated for its distinctive print edition.

The OI has published books that frame early American history, including classics such as Winthrop Jordan’s White over Black, Gordon Wood’s The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1787, Rhys Isaac’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Transformation of Virginia, 1740–1790 and Linda Kerber’s Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America.

More than 50 percent of the Omohundro Institute’s books are awarded prizes; this exceeds the achievement of every other publisher and series.

Omohundro Institute conferences have fed the field of early American scholarship. Its annual conferences draw scholars and the interested public to different venues around the country every June. Topical conferences every fall include the recent Oct. 16–18, 2015 focus on “Emerging Histories of the French Atlantic.” In conjunction with the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, “Region and Nation in American Histories of Race and Slavery” on Oct. 6–8, 2016 will correspond with the opening of the first major exhibition interpreting slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Workshops offer a space for scholars to develop advanced scholarship. These include an annual May event held with the Early Modern Studies Institute, and in spring 2016 an event on “Writing To and From the Revolution” for a special issue of the William and Mary Quarterly.

The OI’s fellowship programs seek to reach scholars at the earliest stages of their careers, from dissertation writing to first book manuscript. The OI offers long-term, short-term and travel fellowships to scholars at the predoctoral and postdoctoral levels, including a two-year residential postdoctoral fellowship that began in 1945 and that has been co-funded for more than three decades by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Omohundro Institute is pursuing significant digital initiatives. The OI Reader, an app for reading and interacting with the journal, was launched in November 2014 featuring a digital edition of the William and Mary Quarterly, making it the first academic journal available on the Apple App Store. Built with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite, the OI Reader features high-resolution images that enlarge, audio, and other interactive features.

On Oct. 6, 2015, the Omohundro Institute, along with William & Mary, was announced as the primary U.S. partner for the Georgian Papers Programme, a partnership between the Royal Collection Trust and King’s College London to digitize the papers of the Georgian monarchs held at Windsor Castle in the Royal Archives. The digital availability of this extraordinarily rich and varied collection will have important bearing on the history of North America and the transatlantic worlds of politics, science and religion in the long 18th century. 

Fact Sheet

You can learn more about the Omohundro Institute's goals & priorities in the fact sheet, which can be downloaded here.