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Colonial Williamsburg Past and Present Podcast

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Williamsburg, VA


Colonial Williamsburg: Past and Present brings you new perspectives from the Revolutionary War era. Explore American history in interviews with historic interpreters, tradesmen, musicians, historians, curators, authors, archaeologists, and more.






P. O. Box 1776 Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776 (757) 229-1000


Journey to Redemption

The cast and crew of Colonial Williamsburg’s groundbreaking program Journey to Redemption join to talk about how the piece was developed and why it’s so important to be having conversations surrounding racism and the history of slavery in our nation. Learn more

Duration: 00:51:18

George Washington on Veteran’s Day

As Veterans Day approaches, the venerated Virginian veteran himself, Gen. George Washington, discusses his military past and how he believes veterans should be honored today.

Duration: 00:06:25

Every Home a Distillery

What do you use to wash the baby, clean the house, color your hair or serve for breakfast? If it’s the 18th century, the answer is alcohol. Professor Sarah Meacham describes her research for the book “Every Home a Distillery.”

Duration: 00:15:17

Through the Ranks

A new web features follows an entering class of Fifers and Drummers on their journey through the ranks.

Duration: 00:18:33

Old School Home Brew

The Historic Campus of the College of William and Mary had one more secret to tell, and it was a big one. Archaeologist Andy Edwards describes the surprise, and the clues that lead them to hope they’ve stumbled upon the College’s early brewhouse.

Duration: 00:14:15

Pumpkin’s Progress

Gain a new respect for the good old pumpkin. Author Mary Miley Theobald traces the history of the venerable gourd.

Duration: 00:11:36

Communicating Complicated Concepts

Rats on a ship smuggle a story of transatlantic trade and a colonial global economy. It’s a big idea, but the concept is made simple by the team of writers, researchers and producers who create Colonial Williamsburg’s Emmy-winning Electronic Field Trip series.

Duration: 00:12:41

Burial Shrouds

What were colonists buried in? This was a question posed to Research Librarian Juliegh Clark. Tracking down the answer led her, and us, through the history of funerals, burials, shrouds and winding sheets.

Duration: 00:16:11

Brick by Brick

It takes a lot of bricks to build a Market House and our brickmakers are busy. So it seems like a good time to revisit this October 2011 podcast about the process for the building blocks of the Historic Area. Brickmaker Jason Whitehead tells the story.

Duration: 00:12:42

The Farm Eternal

No matter where the Earth glides on its axis, the days both long and short shine on a years-worth of work on the colonial farm. At Great Hopes plantation, the turning of the seasons brings with it a task suited to the temperatures: plowing, sowing, planting and harvest. Learn the rhythm of the year with […]

Duration: 00:14:14

An Autumn Spectacular

Planning the fiery colors of autumn is a year-round endeavor for Manager of Landscape Services Laura Viancour. She and her team keep Colonial Williamsburg’s trees healthy and maintained, and they inform their choices with historic documentation of the 18th-century’s treescape.

Duration: 00:12:23

Before the First Shots are Fired

Retired US Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni has some sharp insights and powerful ideas to share in his new book, “Before the First Shots are Fired: How America Can Win or Lose off the Battlefield.” Listen this week as he previews some of the philosophies he shares in his fourth book.

Duration: 00:18:53

The Early Music Festival: From England to America

The 2014 Early Music Festival promises to be a lively one. With instruments, scores, and performances of an 18th-century vintage, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of another century. Enjoy this musical preview featuring Jane Hanson and Michael Monaco from the opera “Thomas and Sally.”

Duration: 00:12:07

Skill and Science in Historic Trades

Intelligence born of practice combines with the study of science to complete the historic tradesman’s store of knowledge. There was no better spokesman for the Historic Trades program than Director Jay Gaynor. Jay recently passed away and we miss him. This encore podcast is dedicated to him.

Duration: 00:11:43

African American Religion

When people from various regions of Africa were forcefully transported to the colonies, they brought nothing with them but the clothes on their backs and the beliefs of their hearts. This latter possession varied widely by region and tradition, but was to each a fundamental part of daily life. Historian Harvey Bakari describes the African […]

Duration: 00:14:19

Decimus Et Ultimus Barziza

Native son of the colonial elite, Decimus Et Ultimus Barziza fulfills his family’s Revolutionary-era legacy of prominence with his career in the Civil War. Historian Drew Gruber describes with passion the path of this “average” Civil War soldier, a story that includes a wound at Little Round Top, a prison break, and a boisterous post-war […]

Duration: 00:18:32

Who’s that Marching Man?

For Drum Major Lance Pedigo, leading comes naturally. All year round and at any time of day, chances are good that you’ll see him marching at the front of the Fifes and Drums, keeping time and metering the pace of the corps of young men and women who make the music of history ring through […]

Duration: 00:11:51

Spies in the Library

Research Librarian Allison Heinbaugh stalked the stacks of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library looking for evidence of spies and spycraft in the 18th century. The bibliography she compiled tells its own story of loyalty, secrecy, and stealth.

Duration: 00:10:07

Stories in Silver

Rare and beautiful silver forms share the social history of their users and their makers. Visit “A Handsome Cupboard of Plate,” an exhibit open now at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Duration: 00:14:51

The Color of History

Watching paint dry turns into a fascinating journey through time, history, science and technology when the Department of Architectural Preservation gets involved. Director Matt Webster shares the story behind the changing paint colors in the Historic Area, and why the colors you’ll see on the walls are a window to the 18th century.

Duration: 00:11:43

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