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Vassar Encyclopedia

An online work in progress under the direction of Vassar’s College Historian

Banner image: Rachel Price, a descendant of Vassar founder Matthew Vassar examines her family tree with Vassar Historian Colton Johnson. November 2019 Photo credit: Buck Lewis/Vassar College

The Vassar Encyclopedia project is an online work in progress under the direction of Vassar’s College Historian, Dean Emeritus of the College and Professor Emeritus of English Colton Johnson. Begun in the 2003–04 academic year by his predecessor, Elizabeth Daniels ’41, the project has benefited from the work of students, faculty members, graduates, and friends of the college. Presidents Frances Fergusson and Catharine Bond Hill have lent generous support, and the project’s collaboration with the Special Collections Library and with the college’s Communications Office has been essential to its success.

The project’s goal is to present lively, accurate, and informative articles relating to the college and its history, of varying length and on diverse topics, written by a wide array of authors.  Presently comprised of texts and illustrations, the collection, as it grows over the years, may incorporate other media as well. Some sections of the encyclopedia may also appear separately in print.

The material is organized into general categories, but the encyclopedia’s contents may be searched by key word, and most entries include, along with a note on sources and, in many cases, footnoted additional information, a brief list of related entries and external links.

The project’s coordinators have worked from a common style sheet, but we have respected in many instances authors’ preferences. We also realize that, with many hands at work and despite many eyes on our texts, simple typographical or other errors must surely exist; we invite assistance in making our work not only more perfect but also more inclusive of the rich legacy and lore of the college. 

CJ, 2006 (rev.’09, ’13)