Ornamental Separator

Consider the Sources

How do we know what we know? Each month, this livestream program introduces you to experts making discoveries about the past, shares ingenious methods of preserving and presenting what we’ve learned, and gives you a peek at aspects of Colonial Williamsburg rarely seen during a typical visit.

Up Next

October 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET

An Exploration of Iron

How do archaeologists, conservators, and craftspeople at Colonial Williamsburg work to bring a story of raw materials, growth of industry and the study of iron to our guests? We look at that question and more to learn about the importance of iron in early Virginia.  Explore with us the processing of iron, forging objects of usefulness and beauty, finding iron in archaeological settings, and the science of preserving iron for future generations.  Join Kate McEnroe, Associate Conservator of Archaeological Materials, Sean Devlin, Senior Curator of Archaeology and Ken Schwarz, Manager of the Anderson Blacksmith and Armoury, in this story of early American iron.

Join the Livestream Event Below

Ask your questions in the chat! Let us know your first name, where you’re from, and what questions you have.

Upcoming Consider the Sources Schedule

October 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET: An Exploration of Iron
How do archaeologists, conservators, and craftspeople at Colonial Williamsburg work to bring a story of raw materials, growth of industry and the study of iron to our guests? We look at that question and more to learn about the importance of iron in early Virginia.  Explore with us the processing of iron, forging objects of usefulness and beauty, finding iron in archaeological settings, and the science of preserving iron for future generations.  Join Kate McEnroe, Associate Conservator of Archaeological Materials, Sean Devlin, Senior Curator of Archaeology and Ken Schwarz, Manager of the Anderson Blacksmith and Armoury, in this story of early American iron.


November 19 at 1:00 p.m. ET
: The Color Tells the Story
Are you curious about the paint colors we use in Colonial Williamsburg? Did you know that those paints often reflect the actual colors used on our buildings? If you are interested in learning how analysis of tiny paint samples tells the big story, this program is for you! Join us online to learn more about how high-powered microscopes and scientific analysis combined with documentary research, archaeology, and field work helps us learn about the colors of the past, and more. This session will be led by Kirsten Moffitt, Conservator and Materials Analyst, and Matt Webster, Executive Director of the Department of Architectural Preservation and Research.


December 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET
: Reid House Painted Overmantel
Study with us the painted overmantel in the Reid House here at Colonial Williamsburg. This program will focus on the painting, executed directly on the wood panel over the fireplace opening, and its story. The painting’s subject, artist, and the analytical, conservation and display work are part of how we tell the story of this type of decorative interior design.


January 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET
: Architectural Collections
Conserving architectural collections, separate from those still in Colonial Williamsburg buildings, takes specialists. Chris Swan, Senior Conservator of Furniture, and Dani Jaworski, Manager, Architectural Collections will share how these primarily wood objects are conserved, stored, and displayed. This program will also explore how these objects are used to reconstruct elements missing from other buildings, and what they can tell us about decorative and utilitarian woodworking in colonial Virginia homes.


February 18 at 1:00 p.m. ET
: Anatomy of An Exhibit
Ever wonder what it takes to plan and implement a new exhibition in a museum? See what is done at Colonial Williamsburg’s Art museums to bring an exhibit to guests.  From inception to theme development, object choices to label writing, gallery design to mount construction, join us for a visit with the conservation, curatorial and exhibits staff.


March 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET
: Covering America with Quilts
What comes to mind when you think of a quilt? Family, friends, warmth, and tradition? Perhaps you think of a quilt as a striking art object hung on the wall, or even a history lesson that makes a statement about a particular society at a given time. For many, quilts are a direct highway to the past. Join Kim Ivey, senior curator of textiles, for a personal tour of the exhibit, Art of the Quilter, and a look at how and where Colonial Williamsburg’s antique quilts are stored when they are not on display. A special guest appearance by quilt volunteers will illustrate quilting techniques and show how reproduction quilts are created for the bedsteads in the Historic Area.


April 22,
2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET: Historic Area Collections Care
How are the many historic buildings in the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg kept clean, safe, and secure? The Historic Area Collections Care staff of Museums, Preservation and Historic Resources are the heroes here!  Learn about the early morning work, the skills it takes to make various objects to create the historic settings, and the creativity that goes into caring for collections that are daily opened to guests.


May 20 at 1:00 p.m. ET: Collections Exposed
Collections safeguarded for study and exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg vary in size and scale, from animals in the Rare Breeds program, to medals and coins in the numismatic collection.  Diverse collections include folk art, archaeology, architecture, newspaper, rare books, toys, and 18th-century decorative arts. Join collections and conservation staff in exploring these fascinating groupings of important material culture.

Previous Consider the Sources Programs

Presenting Costumes for Exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg
Did you ever wonder what mannequins wear under those historic garments? Have you thought about the ways fragile antique clothes are cared for in a museum setting? Do you know the difference between a conservator and a curator? Join Colonial Williamsburg staff Gretchen Guidess, Conservator of Textiles, Jacquelyn Peterson-Grace, Assistant Conservator of Textiles and Neal Hurst, Associate Curator of Costume and Textiles, for a live discussion on these topics!