Large Letter Set (in process)

Eldridge, Muriel (Tilden). Letters, 1911-1914
This collection contains 93 letters: 1 letter addressed to Eldridge's father, 1 letter to her family, 1 letter to her sisters, 1 letter to her parents, and 89 letters to her mother. They cover the winter of her freshman year through the end of her senior year. Eldridge's letters are affectionate, gossipy, descriptive, and detailed--even transcribing some conversations. Eldridge describes Vassar traditions including the Ice Carnival, Junior-Sophomore Prom [see letters circa 22 February 1911, circa 13 February 1913, circa 19 February 1913], the Christian Association reception and doll show [e.g. letter circa 6 December 1912], Senior Parlor opening [e.g. letters circa 14 October 1912 and circa 6 October 1913], Halloween, Sophomore Party, Junior Party, Tree Ceremonies, Founder's Day [e.g. letter from 5 May 1913], trips to Mohonk, Field Day [letter circa 5 May 1913], and Serenading, along with a detailed description of graduation and Class Day written by Eldridge's mother to her grandmother [letter circa June 1914]. Eldridge recounts her academic experience, including classes, examinations, and assignments, and includes her thoughts on various faculty [Dr. Thelberg in letters 15 January 1911 and circa 22 January 1911, Dean McCaleb in letter circa 22 January 1911, Lady Principal Kendrick in letters circa 14 and 22 February 1911, many accounts of Professor Chittenden e.g. letter circa 14 February 1911, and Professor Gow]. Eldridge was a gifted musician and frequently discusses her music classes and private lessons [detailed description in letter circa 14 February 1911], seeing plays and concerts, as well as her participation in choir and Glee Club. She also took part in a variety of athletic activities at Vassar, such as ice hockey [see letter circa 14 February 1911], track meets, and tennis tournaments. Eldridge also led an active social life, giving details of attending recitals, parties, and other events with her friends. She discusses friends going to house parties at men's colleges like Cornell, and her experiences meeting men at who came to Vassar for dances [see letter circa 19 February 1912 for a detailed description of a dance with men invited]. Eldridge gives frequent descriptions of her clothing and fashion trends, as well as many short accounts of her personal finances. She recorded significant events at Vassar, such as beginning construction on the Students' Building [letter circa 14 October 1912], being among the first people to live in Olivia Josselyn House [circa 23 September 1912], getting electricity in Main [circa 23 September 1911], a girl drowning in Sunset Lake [6 February 1913, and students being affected by the Great Flood of 1913 [31 March 1913]. She includes aspects of political life on campus, including political activism [circa 22 October 1912], visitors from the Hampton Institute [circa 14 February 1913], and debates with Mt. Holyoke [circa 10 March 1913]. Eldridge also records her derogatory impressions of the maids at Vassar, such as blaming the maids for stealing [first mention circa 11 May 1912, more information 26 May 1913 among other instances], and refusing to give a maid music lessons [circa 26 September 1913]. In another letter, she writes that she authored a minstrel show that was performed for the Maid's Clubhouse Fund [circa 5 May 1913].
VC 1914
MacCoy, Marjorie Newell. Letters, 1907-1910
This collection contains 105 letters: 15 addressed to her sister Harriet Jean MacCoy (VC 1903), 4 to her father, and 86 to her family. The letters cover the fall of her freshman year through the end of her junior year. She makes some mention of exams and academics, but most of the letters are devoted to her social life, events on campus, and Vassar traditions. MacCoy recorded athletic activities including watching hockey [e.g. 17 November 1907] and basketball [e.g. 17 May 1908] and learning to swim [25 April 1909]. She was an active member in a variety of organizations, such as the Students' Association [e.g. 4 October 1908, 16 January 1910], VC Grand-Daughters [15 March 1908, 1 November 1908], the Dickens Club [2 May 1909], and the Christians' Association [26 September 1909]. She also participated in music and theater, serving as a choir sub [e.g. 8 March 1908], acting in Philalethean Society plays [e.g. 15 March 1908, 22 March 1908, 4 February 1909, 21 February 1909, 28 February 1909, circa 1 March 1910] and attending Hall Plays [e.g. 8 November 1908, 13 December 1908]. She describes her social life, including eating in other students' dorms, attending spreads, and interactions with boys [e.g. 15 November 1908, 29 November 1908]. MacCoy also relates her impressions of faculty, including breakfast with Miss McCaleb [24 November 1907], dinner with President Taylor and his wife [6 December 1907], and conversations with Dr. Thelberg. In terms of events on campus, MacCoy reports on concerts, religious services and sermons [e.g. Lyman Abbot in 16 May 1909, Henry Sloane Coffin in 26 September 1909], lectures, opening the Maids' Clubhouse [15 March 1908, 17 April 1908] and events there [20 November 1908, 14 March 1909], ushering a debate [22 March 1908], and the response to Halley's Comet [22 May 1910]. MacCoy also writes about politics on campus, such as a Republican convention for Vassar students [17 May 1908] and other election events [16 October 1908, 18 October 1908, 25 October 1908], her work in the VC College Settlement Club [24 May 1908], brief descriptions of suffrage activities (although MacCoy was not in favor), such as her impressions of Inez Milholland (VC 1909) [23 September 1908, 18 October 1908], hearing a lecture by Ethel Snowden [5 December 1909], and a play referencing suffragettes in the class of 1910 [22 May 1910], as well as mentions of student activity in the the International Ladies Garment Workers Strike [8 December 1909, 22 May 1910]. MacCoy also records a variety of Vassar traditions, including Senior Parlor opening [20 October 1907, 8 October 1908, 10 October 1908, 11 October 1908], Senior Birthday [19 January 1908], Ice Carnival [19 January 1908], Philalethean Society hall plays, a "stunt" party for the freshmen [9 February 1908], Valentine's Day [e.g. 16 February 1908], seranading [e.g. 24 May 1908], Field Day [10 May 1908, 9 May 1909], Tree Ceremonies [e.g. 10 May 1908. 9 May 1909 contains a very detailed description, including students wearing kimonos and singing Japanese music], the Vassarion [31 May 1908], excursions to Mohonk [25 October 1908, 17 October 1909], Sophomore Party [25 October 1908], Junior Party [1 November 1908], Halloween [1 November 1908], Christians' Association, end of year events [6 June 1909, Junior Party [31 October 1909], Washington's Birthday [circa 1 March 1910], Junior-Senior Boatride [22 May 1910]. MacCoy's letters contain derogatory references to several groups. For example, in one letter to her family they discuss if a student [Helen H. Mossman (VC 1911)] is Jewish [31 May 1908]. She also uses "jewed" as a verb throughout her correspondence [e.g. 30 May 1909]. In another instance, she dressed up as an Irish cook in a comedy about Vassar students in social work and suffrage activism [22 May 1910].
VC 1911
Ross, Caroline (Barnes). Letters, 1902-1903
This collection includes 10 letters: 8 letters to Ross' mother and 2 incomplete letters to unknown recipients, all spanning from Ross' freshman year through the fall of her junior year. Ross describes several elections on campus for the VC Students' Association and other student organizations. She participates in her class' basketball team [e.g. May 1902], the Philalethean Society [23 February 1902], the T. and M. society [31 May 1903], and fundraising for the Maid's Club House [10 May 1903]. She observes traditions including a variety of campus parties, the Junior-Senior boat ride, Commencement, Founder's Day [4 May 1902], a Dome Party [31 May 1903], Senior Day [1 June 1902], and Halloween [1 November 1903]. She gives particularly detailed accounts of dressing up for Washington's Birthday [23 February 1902], several class' Tree Ceremonies [27 April 1902, 4 May 1902, 10 May 1903], hearing and celebrating the results of the Vassar-Wellesley Debate [27 April 1902], and Field Day [11 May 1902, 10 May 1903]. Ross also reports on the room draw process [4 May 1902, 11 May 1902], laments her homesickness [11 May 1902], and mentions receiving visitors, sermons in the Chapel, and academic examinations. Throughout the letters, Ross includes details of her social life and reflects on the importance of the relationships between classes (e.g. her sister class, 1903).
VC 1905
Shipp, Margaret M. Letters, 1901-1905
This collection contains 315 letters: 19 addressed to her family, 248 to her sister, 2 to her father and sister, and 46 to her father. The letters cover her entire time at Vassar. Shipp describes her courses and impressions of faculty members (President James Taylor and Lady Principal Georgia Kendrick [22 Sept 1901], Dr. Elizabeth Thelberg [e.g. 7 Mar 1902, 18 Mar 1902, 2 Apr 1902], Grade Macurdy [7 Mar 1902], Abby Leach [25 Oct 1903], Lucy Maynard Salmon [25 Jan 1905, 3 Feb 1905, 8 Mar 1905], and Gertrude Buck [9 Mar 1905]). Her letters contain various aspects of student life at Vassar, including attending chapel [24-26 Sept 1910], religious life [e.g. 24 Oct 1901], healthcare (being in the infirmary [e.g. 2 and 3 Oct 1903], physical examinations [2 Oct 1901, 16 Apr 1905]), socializing with men [e.g. 19 Oct 1901, 26 Oct 1901, 29 Nov 1901, 1 Dec 1901, 30 Mar 1902, 30 Apr 1902, 2 May 1902, 3 May 1903], her social life including "spreads" and stunt parties [e.g. 12 Mar 1902, 28 Mar 1902, 30 Oct 1904], smashing [15 Nov 1903], fashion [e.g. 21 Mar 1902, 5 Apr 1902, 18 Mar 1905 with sketch], and housing (living off campus her freshman year [e.g. 24 Oct 1901, 11 Nov 1901], room draw and descriptions of her rooms [6 May 1902, 21 Sept 1902, 16 Apr 1903]). Shipp was active in athletics, describing rowing on Sunset Lake [e.g. 4 Oct 1901], sports (basketball, hockey, gymnastics, tennis) [e.g. 24 Nov 1901, 18 Mar 1902, 18 May 1902, 22 Apr 1902], and ice skating [e.g. 27 Feb 1902, 7 Jan 1902, 13 Jan 1902]. She also participated in the Vassar Christians' Association [13 Oct 1901, 28 Sept 1902, 27 Sept 1903, 26 Nov 1904], and planned a Y.W.C.A. party [23 Apr 1905]. She also writes about the arts at Vassar, such as Philalethean Society plays [e.g. 18 Feb 1902, 16 Nov 1902], concerts [e.g. 24 Nov 1901], plays [e.g. 7 Dec 1901], participating in the Greek play [12 Mar 1902, 21 Mar 1902, 18 May 1902], and Choral Club. She references putting on a minstrel show on campus [1 June 1902]. Shipp often participated in and attended debates (intersociety on campus, versus Wellesley, and in her courses) [21 Mar 1902, 24 Mar 1902, 28 Apr 1902, 16 Jan 1903, 26 Apr 1903, 20 Oct 1903, 25 Oct 1903, 8 Nov 1903, 15 Nov 1903, 22 Feb 1905, 1 Mar 1905, 18 Mar 1905, 22 Mar 1905]. Shipp also records the political life on campus leading up to the 1904 presidential election [13 Oct 1904, 15 Oct 1904, 19 Oct 1904, 23-25 Oct 1904, 30 Oct 1904, 4 Nov 1904, 8 Nov 1904]. One letter describes visiting Sing Sing prison with friends for a course [29 Apr 1905]. She includes many Vassar traditions, such as Washington's Birthday [14 Feb 1902, 23 Feb 1902, 22 Feb 1903, 28 Feb 1904, 26 Feb 1905, photographs in 1 Mar 1902 and 25 Mar 1902], excursions to Mohonk [e.g. 19 Oct 1901, 23-25 Oct 1904], Sophomore Party [22 Sept 1901, 17 Nov 1901, 9 Nov 1902], Junior Party [15 Nov 1903], Field Day [11 May 1902, 26 Mar 1903, 27 May 1905], Founder's Day [2 May 1902, 3 May 1903, 30 Apr 1904, 1 May 1904], Tree Ceremonies [6 May 1903, 10 May 1903, 21 Apr 1904], skating carnivals [20 Jan 1904, 31 Jan 1904], Junior-Senior boat ride [26 May 1904, 28 May 1905], Senior Parlor [16 Nov 1902, 19 Oct 1904, 23 Oct 1904], the Vassarion [30 Oct 1904, 26 Apr 1905], Senior Birthday [30 Oct 1904], Thanksgiving [circa 23 Nov 1904, 24 November 1904], and Halloween [1 November 1901] (including one Halloween party where the girls dressed up as "nationalities" [1 Nov 1901, 4 Nov 1901]). She notes current events on campus, such as a fire at the college laundry [8 Feb 1902] (and a fire at Bryn Mawr [19 Mar 1902]), opening Davison House [1 Mar 1902], laying the cornerstone of the new chapel [5 Oct 1902] and the dedication of the new chapel [4 Nov 1904] (for image of new chapel see postcard circa 13 March 1905). Visitors to Vassar include lectures by William Butler Yeats [6 Dec 1903] and Lyman Abbott [14 Jan 1905]. She also meets Alton B. Parker [22 Mar 1905] and John Burroughs [23 Apr 1905]. In addition, she comments on news outside Vassar, such as President McKinley’s illness [8 Sept 1901], the impact of the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago on Vassar students [10 Jan 1904], and President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington’s dinner at the White House [26 Oct 1901]. Some letters include other materials like cyanotype photographs [26 Feb 1902, 27 Feb 1902, 1 Mar 1902, 25 Mar 1902], photographs [5 Jan 1905, circa 13 Jan 1905], visiting cards [e.g. 25 Jan 1905], valentines for her sister [e.g. circa 16 Feb 1905], and a Commencement invitation [circa 1 June 1905].
VC 1905