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New Archaeology Center to Expand, Transform Program

As Colonial Williamsburg’s collection of archaeological artifacts continues to grow, more space is needed to house and study these vast collections. A new archaeology center — named for former Colonial Williamsburg President Colin Campbell and his wife Nancy — will be built directly across from the Art Museums and next to Custis Square. It will be publicly accessible on a daily basis, something Colonial Williamsburg has not yet been able to offer. Plans for the Colin G. and Nancy N. Campbell Archaeology Center include lab space where guests can observe and interact with staff washing and studying artifacts as well as a public archaeology lab and classroom space where guests will be invited to learn more about archaeology and participate in hands-on experiences.

“The Campbell Archaeology Center will be a world-class facility that befits Colonial Williamsburg’s archaeological collection,” said Jack Gary, director of archaeology. “It will provide new access for guests and scholars alike to some of the artifacts that have shaped our understanding of Williamsburg. This facility allows us to show guests a side of archaeological research that most people don’t see — the process of discovery inside the lab.”

In addition to lab space, the Campbell Archaeology Center will be home to exhibitions showcasing the history of archaeology and the work of Foundation archaeologists past and present, including Ivor Noël Hume, the Foundation’s first full-time trained archaeologist.

“Colonial Williamsburg’s historic archaeology program is the nation’s oldest and among the most revered,” said Ron Hurst, senior vice president for education and historic resources. “The team’s lab and collection storage facilities were outgrown years ago, so the Campbell Archeology Center is much needed. It will provide us with the tools to move forward into the Foundation’s next century.”

“Colonial Williamsburg’s historic archaeology program is the nation’s oldest and among the most revered.”


The center is possible thanks to a lead gift from the late Forrest E. Mars Jr. and several additional donations have also recently been dedicated to this project. As we have a goal of approximately $25 million, funding is still needed to begin construction and reach our targeted opening date in 2026.

We hope you will consider making a transformative gift in support of this initiative. Naming opportunities are available. If you are interested in contributing or need more information, please email us at [email protected] and someone will be in contact as soon as possible.

It is only with your support that we can continue to make discoveries that shed new light on our understanding of our shared history and better tell the stories of the people who inhabited Williamsburg centuries ago.

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the world. Witness history brought to life on the charming streets of the colonial capital and explore our newly expanded and updated Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, featuring the nation’s premier folk art collection, plus the best in British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670–1840. Check out sales and special offers and our Official Colonial Williamsburg Hotels to plan your visit.