The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation operates the world's largest living history museum in Williamsburg, Virginia - the restored 18th-century capital of Britain's largest, wealthiest, and most populous outpost of empire in the New World. Here we interpret the origins of the idea of America, conceived decades before the American Revolution. In Colonial Williamsburg's 301-acre Historic Area stand hundreds of restored, reconstructed, and historically furnished buildings. Costumed interpreters tell the stories of the men and women of the 18th-century city - black, white, and native American, slave, indentured, and free - and the challenges they faced. In this historic place, we help the future learn from the past.
Education, Research and Historical Interpretation-The Historic Area is a 301-acre outdoor history museum with over 600 original and reconstructed houses, outbuildings, shops, taverns, and public buildings. Interpretation by costumed employees engage visitors in dialogue with historical residents of Colonial Williamsburg and at trade sites. Tours are offered through the houses, taverns and public buildings. Specialized tours are available that focus on African-Americans, the role of women in the 18th-century, and the origins of the U.S. Constitution.
Taverns and Colonial Houses-Ideal for guests who wish to fully immerse themselves in the 18th-century, Colonial Williamsburg offers authentic period accomodations in the Historic Area where our founding families once lodged. Servers in taverns are in period dress and interpret the 18th-century dining experiences.
Collections, Conservation & Museums-Colonial Williamsburg's wide-ranging collections, acquired over the past 85 years, provide the art, objects and artifacts necessary to accurately recreate the environment of 18th-century Williamsburg. The archaeological and architectural collection include 500,000 whole archaeological artifacts from excavations in and around Williamsburg as well as 20 million fragments (probably the largest single archaeological holding relating to 18th-century America), and more than 15,000 architectural fragments.