Library

Not Valyrian, But We Have Swords

As Game of Thrones returns to audiences this summer, the Samuel C. Williams Library is excited to share its own collection of swords. And while these weapons won’t be defending a crown or throne anytime soon, they will be on display on the first floor of the Library.

According to Joseph Treyz, who was a cataloger in the 1950’s at the Library (then located in the Lieb building), the swords were initially salvaged from a Spanish galleon and were in the possession of the Stevens Museum. When the museum was disbanded, Mr. Treyz recovered the swords, and later in 2011, donated them to the Library.

The largest sword is a type called a longsword, which is a European sword used during the late Medieval Period (ca. 1500 AD). In European Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts these swords are also referred to as “bastard-sword”, “half-and-a-half swords”, and “great sword”. They are made to be wielded with two hands, hence the long grip on the handle of the sword. 

The shorter sword is also from the same time frame. It has similarities to the rapier, but the blade itself is somewhat broader and the handle, with pommel and cross guard, is a bit different in shape than the standardized types during the Medieval period.

The swords are on display now on the first floor in the Great Hall study area.