Since 2004, editions of Vassar: The Alumnae/i Quarterly have been available online. But those wanting to peruse issues published prior to that time had to request scans from the college.
That all changed at the end of January when the Vassar College Libraries made available digital copies of VQ issues back to its inception. The libraries’ Digital Initiatives team worked with an outside vendor to digitize 453 issues—from 1916 through 2015—totaling 29,832 pages. (Incidentally, the largest issue ever produced was the June 1926 edition, which came in at a whopping 135 pages!)
The archive is now available to the public in a searchable online format. Each issue can be viewed page-by-page or downloaded in PDF form. New issues will be digitized in bulk every two years. Due to the personal nature of its content, the Class Notes section will be embargoed until alumnae/i are more than 79 years past their class graduation year.
This digital archiving effort was led by Vassar College Libraries staff members Laura Streett, college archivist, and Joanna DiPasquale, digital initiatives librarian. The project is the latest in an effort by the libraries to make Vassar’s archival materials and publications available online.
Though the magazine’s title and publication patterns have varied, Vassar has served as the official magazine for the alumnae/i of the college for a century. In its inaugural issue, Vassar’s president, Henry Noble MacCracken, wrote in his President’s Message, “It is my earnest hope, that the Vassar Quarterly shall be another link in the chain of loyalty which binds together the Vassar community both on campus and over the hedge.”
Elizabeth Randolph, editor of Vassar, says, “This archive is a valuable resource. It offers an easy way to access slices of Vassar history that many will appreciate, including alumnae/i, current students, and other members of the Vassar community.”
She notes, “The Vassar College Libraries recently digitized the Misc [Vassar’s student newspaper], and that turned out to be quite a hit with both researchers and members of the Vassar community alike. I’m hoping this asset will be just as popular.”
To access the archive, visit http://library.vassar.edu/vq/.