Student Diaries

Adee, Ellen (Skeel). Diary, 1869-1870
Much of this volume focuses on Adee's year-long absence from Vassar College due to sickness, presumably typhoid fever. Adee became sick in October, 1868, during the first semester of her senior year. She spent a short time at Vassar's infirmary before returning home to her family in Balmville, a hamlet of Newburgh, New York, to recover. She was able to return to the college in 1869 and graduate one year late, in 1870, though she maintained an allegiance to the class of 1869. Her diary covers subjects from religion (she details her membership in St. Georges Episcopal Church in Newburgh) to her academic challenges (specifically oration and elocution) and reflections on her time at Vassar, her graduation from the college, and her Vassar degree.
Anthony, Constance E. Diary, 1915
Detailed daily entries, beginning in the spring of 1915 and ending in winter 1915, addressing Anthony’s sophomore and junior years at Vassar College. Anthony describes her semester schedules, January and June exams, the dismissals of several classmates from school for failure (Feb 3-5), lectures, labs, and a variety of readings in literature. She frequently mentions going to movies, plays, and musical performances. Anthony provides details of social events, such as sharing “cheese dreams” snacks with her classmates, shopping, coasting, dances, summer correspondence with Vassar friends, and summer vacations with friends. Vassar events described by Anthony include Henry Noble MacCracken leading chapel for first time (Feb 1), the sporting events and varsity basketball team selections, a visit to the Catskills (May 14-15), the sophomore tree ceremonies picture sale (May 21), a students’ meeting requesting policy reforms (May 22), senior essays and prom (May 27-29), alumnae reunions and events festivities (June, Oct 11), the petition for Vassar to purchase pianos (Jun 18), campus renovations (Sep 16), and the inauguration of Vassar president Henry Noble MacCracken. Anthony discusses and provides newspaper clippings related to US and world news. In regards to WWI, Anthony mentions an anti-war lecture by the Hungarian activist Rosika Schwimmer (Mar 10), the sinking of the Lusitania (May 7), the Austro-German offensive on Serbia (Oct 8), Serbia joining the Allies against Bulgaria (aided by Germany) and Greece breaking a treaty by refusing to join Bulgaria (Oct 19), the showing of “Fighting in France” war documentaries (Nov 27), and Vassar College’s rejection of Henry Ford’s invitation for Vassar president Henry Noble MacCracken and “several prominent Vassar students” to join his peace mission in Europe (Nov 29-Dec 2). US news cited by Anthony includes a scarlet fever epidemic in Poughkeepsie during which Vassar students were forbidden to go to town (May 1-2, May 18), a votes for women poll (May 22), President Wilson’s engagement (Oct 6), the defeat of women’s suffrage in New Jersey (Oct 19), a suffrage parade in New York (Oct 26), and the Chicago case of a surgeon refusing life-saving surgery to a child [Baby John Bollinger] born with disabilities (Nov 18). Anthony’s entries are interspersed with many letters, postcards, envelopes, photographs, musical programs, calling cards, and other memorabilia.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1870-1877
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume focuses on her religious thought, reflections on death, feelings of alienation from herself and the world around her, and general disjointed observations. Initially, she describes teaching and studying at a Normal School. Although she is accepted to Michigan University, she cannot attend because of financial troubles. She chafes at gender norms (e.g. she is promoted to the head of her school and then the board decides to give the position to a man instead: see August 25, 1874). She starts at Vassar in 1876, struggles with her health, and experiences periods of great optimism and others of crushing sadness.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1872
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time living with her family in Castleton, Vermont, in 1872.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1873
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time living with her family in Castleton, Vermont, in 1873.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1874
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time living with her family in Castleton, Vermont, in 1874.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1875
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time working as a teacher in Cohoes, New York, in 1875.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1876
This volume does not yet have a transcript. Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time at Vassar College in 1876.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1876-1877
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. In this volume, Bromley details her first months at Vassar, from September 1876 through January 1877, following a period of working as a teacher and private tutor.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary, 1877
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume details her time at Vassar College in 1877, during which she realizes that "maybe I won't need any room there next year," (p. 176) foreshadowing her departure from the college at the end of the year. She returns home to Castleton, Vermont, where she eagerly awaits the delivery of Vassar's student literary periodical, "The Miscellany." In Castleton, she resumes her pre-Vassar work as a classroom teacher and private tutor.
Bromley, Frances M. Diary; to Edith, 1880-1882
Frances Bromley (VC Ex 1879) was a prolific diarist, contributing seven diaries to Vassar College that chronicle her life from 1872 to 1877. Bromley's diaries all contain reflections on her daily activities, observations about other people, and literary and biblical quotes. Bromley also writes extensively about illness throughout her diaries. This volume is written in the form of letters to her friend Edith. Bromley discusses her health, aspirations, religious reflections, the importance of female friendship, and her strong affection for Edith.
Brydon, Anne Page. Diary, 1922
This volume does not yet have a transcript. The volume begins in January 1922, which was the end of the first semester of Brydon's freshman year. Brydon wrote about her daily academic routine, as well as how she spent her free time. She enjoyed socializing with classmates, playing bridge, walking, skating, sledding (coasting), bike riding, tennis, knitting, and cutting class. She attended plays, lectures, sporting events, and "Dark Music" (music played without lights in the Chapel after Sunday Vespers). She also went to Arlington and Poughkeepsie regularly to shop, eat, and attend events. She spent vacations at home in Richmond, Virginia, swimming in the James River, picnicking, and playing tennis and parlor games.
Brydon, Anne Page. Diary, 1923
This volume covers September to December of 1923, the start of Brydon's sophomore year at Vassar. In 1923 she vowed to be more reflective in her diary than she was in 1922, but she did cover some of the same topics. Brydon wrote about her daily academic routine, as well as how she spent her free time. She enjoyed socializing with classmates, playing bridge, walking, skating, sledding (coasting), bike riding, tennis, knitting, and cutting class. She attended plays, lectures, sporting events, and "Dark Music" (music played without lights in the Chapel after Sunday Vespers). She also went to Arlington and Poughkeepsie regularly to shop, eat, and attend events. She spent vacations at home in Richmond, Virginia, swimming in the James River, picnicking, and playing tennis and parlor games.
Earl, Mary (Reed). Diary, 1891-1895
This volume covers the full four years Mary (Reed) Earl spent at Vassar, beginning with her entrance exams in September 1891 and ending with commencement in 1895, including thoughts about what she might do after Vassar. While she does not go into much detail about college events, she does dutifully record them. She also mentions her involvement with the Vassar chapter of the Y.W.C.A., the Glee Club, and the Sunday choir. In July, 1893, she attended the Chicago World's fair with her family and here describes the occasion in detail. She also describes people and events in her hometown, Sharon, NY, where she spent her vacations.
Elder, Lilla (Thomas). Diary, 1866-1873
Lilla Thomas Elder's diary documents the years 1866-1873; however, the narrative does not develop chronologically on consecutive pages. An index is available below. The volume's content includes Vassar events such as Matthew Vassar's death and how it changed Founder's Day celebrations, as well as routine activities, such as fluctuating relationships with classmates, decorating her room, in-room eating "sprees", trips to the infirmary, and interactions with Dr. Alida Avery, Hannah Lyman, and her teachers. She writes detailed descriptions of time at home in Hastings, N.Y., trips to New York City, and a summer in Shandaken in the Catskills. Vacations involved parlor games, rowing, riding, hiking, picnicking, and flirtations with young men. The diary ends with her thoughts on how her Vassar education developed her character but had a negative effect her romantic relationships with men.
May 1866 - May 1867 (p 6-36); Oct 1867 - Sep 1869 (p 49-56); Nov 1869 - Aug 1870 (p 60-81); Aug 1870 - June 1871 (p 86-115); May 1871 - May 1872 (p 155-186); Oct 1872 (p 44-45); Oct 1873 (p 46-48); poetry, correspondence, pressed flowers and other items can be found on the unlisted pages.
Elwell, Abbie (Nickerson). Diary, 1878-1928
Her diary entries describe her arrival at Vassar, entrance examinations, and details of student life, like walks to the cider mill, gymnastics, ice skating. She also includes descriptions and anecdotes from classes, religious services, and lectures. She mentions the Sophomore Party, the Society for Religious Inquiry, the the Philalethean Society, various plays, concerts, and Washington’s Birthday. The diary also contains quotes and short transcriptions from various books, some academic notes, transcriptions of assigned essay questions, a list of lecture topics in astronomy, and copied poems and limericks. The volume includes assorted newspaper clippings such as: a play review, lecture on aging, newspaper obituary clippings for a relative (probably her father) from 1906 and Florence Cushing. The diary ends with transcribed 1927 notes on her classmates for the class letter, including ones visit to Japan on a cruise to see the Japanese students.
Gay, Mary W. Diary, 1878
Mary Gay wrote this short diary in February, 1878, her second semester as a Preparatory Student at Vassar. In this volume, she does not discuss contemporary events, but instead reflects on her first year at Vassar, 1876-1877. She writes about her roommates, friends, teachers, and regular class work, as well as her entrance exams.
Guttman, Ida (Frank). Diary, 1883
This volume contains a very detailed account of Ida Frank's first semester at Vassar. She entered the college as a preparatory student in 1883 and became a member of the Exoteric Society, a social club for the "Preps". Frank was Jewish but does not discuss her experience with religion at Vassar, although she does clearly describe the daily routine of a Vassar student at that time.
Haight, Helen I. Diary, ca. 1928
This volume is a travel journal post-dating Haight's time at Vassar.
Holden, Abby (Rankin). Diary, 1871-1872
This volume covers Abbie Rankin Holden's first year at Vassar College, from 1871-1872. She writes extensively about her relationships with friends, family and classmates. The bulk of the diary, though, is dedicated to her great love for the Mental and Moral Philosophy teacher, Miss Lepha N. Clarke. Her friends said she was "smashed on" Miss Clarke, but she does not describe her adoration in those terms. She also mentions "Ned" Holden, who may have be the Horace Holden she married in 1879.
James, Fannie (Shouse). Diary, ca. 1860s-1870s
From page 1 of the memoir: “Fannie [Fanny] Shouse was from Kansas City, Mo. She entered Vassar College Sept. 1869, preparatory department, and left on account of her father’s death in April, 1873, and the following October, 1873, she married. The following is a copy of a sketch about her college days written by Fannie Shouse James and found in her desk after her death. Sent to the college by her daughter, Fanny James Egan '04 (Mrs. Louis H. Egan).” The memoir describes entrance exams, course assignments, visitors to the College, professors (especially Maria Mitchell, a favorite instructor), and general college life.
Judd, Dorothy (Leonard). Diary, 1917
This item consists of typed extracts of Dorothy Leonard Judd’s 1917 diary. Judd briefly discusses home life in Grand Rapids, Michigan; viewing footage from soldiers in the first world war and the new Russian revolution; trips to New York City; and camp life in the Gulick summer camp in Maine.
From page 1 - “LIFE IN GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN; LIFE IN THE LUTHER GULICK SUMMER CAMPS, SOUTH CASCO, MAINE; LIFE AT VASSAR COLLEGE, POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK”
Keffer, Bertha. Diary, 1876
VC 1876, handwritten.
This item is a collection of writings by Keffer and her classmates. It features a lengthy poem about the arrival of the first Japanese students in 1872, which also appears in Ella C. Lapham's (VC 1876) scrapbook. The racist poem mocks the Japanese students' English language skills and warns that they are thieves who should not be trusted. The collection also includes class songs and odes, as well as a sampling of short, humorous poems mostly related to studies at Vassar.
The Japanese Princesses “Sixty Minutes Every Day” Extract from the Class History of ‘75. Ode, Class ‘76 Class Song - ‘76 Class Song - 76 - Lorelei Class Song - Cheer Boys Cheer Books read - Kalamazoo ‘76 & ‘77 Trust David Damouna Dr. Ferrier’s Remedy for Cold in the Head
Keffer, Bertha. Diary, Jan-Jun 1871
Although Bertha Keffer’s diary was printed with the date 1854, she wrote in it during the months of January-June 1871. Keffer generally describes her day-to-day life at Vassar, focusing heavily on her time in the College Chapel. She speaks briefly, and sporadically, about her father (John C. Keffer) and his role working for the U.S. government. Most of her entries focus on her friendships with fellow Vassar students May, Etta, and Alice. Keffer also discusses President John H. Raymond and his lectures, as well as discussion of the death of college principal Hannah W. Lyman.
Ladd-Franklin, Christine. Diary, 1860-1866
This volume begins with 56 pages of handwriting exercises. The narrative then begins with Christine Ladd's adolescent years during the Civil War. The diary is not simply a daily chronicle; rather, it is a serious journal of self-examination, expressing despondency over the death of her mother, hopes for her future, and the normal anxieties of young womanhood. She does mention family, studies, and friends, but also records her prayers, discusses philosophy, and writes in French. She occasionally mentions the war, but it is not the focus of her thoughts. She does discuss her hopes to attend Vassar and the difficult family circumstances she must overcome to achieve her goal.
Ladd-Franklin, Christine. Diary, 1866-1873
In this diary, Christine Ladd-Franklin chronicles her time at Vassar and several years following her graduation in 1869. She escribes her experience as a Vassar student, the challenges of financing her education, and her early years of teaching before beginning her graduate work in mathematics.
Markwick, Marjorie (Anthony). Diary, 1914
Daily entries from July through December 1914. Newspaper clippings concerning Vassar’s field day, moonlight sail, and mountain climb; a letter from Markwick’s aunt Mollie; an invoice for directing song practice and class meeting; and a Vassar room deposit receipt are pasted into the diary beginning in May 1914. The diary also contains social news clippings, calling cards, musical programs, an article on a Vassar fire drill (Oct 3), and a Vassar “circus” ticket (Oct 31). The summer entries (Jul 31-Aug 31) mention trips to Pleasant Lake and Tupper Lake with several friends, and Markwick’s attempts to dissuade her friends (Peter, Tunk, and Robert) from proposing marriage to her. Fall entries consist of brief references to social visits and films and several letters concerning social news and working on the Vassarion (Oct 10). Markwick also mentions the Junior Party, an off-campus dinner party, a visit by former Vassar president James Monroe Taylor (Nov 2), getting a suffrage button (Nov 5), and the health emergency of her classmate Miss Thallon (Dec 6). Current events cited by Markwick include the declarations of war between England (Aug 4), President Wilson’s proclamation of a day to pray for peace (Oct 4), and Turkey’s entrance into the war (Oct 30).
Martin, Elma G. Diary, 1892
Daily entries of varying length concerning Martin’s experiences as a special student at Vassar College between September 22, 1892 and June 28, 1893. Further entries until June 23, 1894 discuss Martin’s return home and work teaching. After a break of several years, Martin resumes the diary with an account of her studies at Denison University from Sep 12, 1906 to June 23, 1907. During the Vassar section, Martin frequently mentions sermons by [VC president James Monroe] Taylor and by visiting pastors, lectures by missionaries, and prayer meetings. She also refers to attending academic and philanthropic lectures, concerts and recitals. Martin details the Vassar students’ political meeting concerning the presidential election, (Oct 15 1892), listing the slogans chanted by the students and mentioning that [Presidential candidate William] McKinley spoke in Poughkeepsie (Nov 1 1892). Martin provides brief descriptions of her professors Fraulein Neef, Miss Richardson, Miss Green, Dr Thelberg, and Miss Perry (Sep 26 1892). Martin records her experiences of Vassar traditions such as the Lake Mohonk visit (Oct 12 and 15 1892), Halloween pranks (Nov 1 and 6 1892), Hall Plays (Nov 19 and Dec 17 1892), Philalethean Day (Dec 2 1892), the removal of “Female” from the college name (Dec 21 1892), Valentine’s Day (Feb 14 1893), George Washington’s Birthday (Feb 22 1893), Trig Ceremonies (Feb 25 1893), Founders’ Day (Apr 28 1893), Tree Ceremonies (May 21 1893), the Greek Play (May 26 1893), Class Day (Jun 12 1893), and Commencement (Jun 13 1893). Martin mentions exercising and enjoying the outdoors with classmates by gathering apples and hickory nuts, walking, swimming, bicycling , and boating. Martin depicts the importance of her friendships at Vassar by caring for Belle Freeman during the latter’s eye issues and brief illness, and by describing her sadness over having to part with her classmate Grace at the end of Martin’s year as a special student (Jun 8 1893). After describing her year at Vassar, Martin mentions sightseeing in Washington, DC and giving lectures (Jul 30 1893) and painting lessons (Aug 17 1893) in her hometown, Elmira. She describes teaching school in the autumn of 1893 and spring of 1894, her mother surviving a carriage accident (Mar 13 1894), and participating in VC alumnae activities (Jun 9-23 1894). Martin resumes her diary on September 12, 1906 by introducing her plan to study at Denison University while supporting herself by teaching preparatory algebra at Shepardson College. She describes her coursework, students, classmates, professors, the academic and missionary lectures that she attended, musical concerts and recitals, costume parties, and Commencement (Jun 15 1907).
Ordway, Katherine Gretta. Diary, 1909-1910
VC 1913
1909-1910: Detailed daily entries from 11 Nov 1909 to 2 May 1910 of Ordway’s first year at Vassar College. Throughout the diary, Ordway demonstrates an intense interest in her academic coursework, including her classes in Latin, math, history, English, and German. Additionally, Ordway consistently makes reference to religious activities such as Christians’ [Association], Bible class, church services and sermons, Mission study, prayer meeting, missionary lecture, and student volunteer conventions. In various entries, Ordway contemplates her loneliness and perfectionism (Nov 23, Feb 1, Feb 24, Mar 13). She also mentions attending concerts, reading poetry with other students, tutoring “Florence,” and receiving a scholarship. From January to March, Ordway describes the symptoms and treatments of her septum, tonsil, and adenoid issues. She discusses correspondence and vacation visits home, including her family’s purchase of a vacuum cleaner. Vassar traditions mentioned by Ordway include senior parlor, Thanksgiving, dressing dolls for charity, stunts, hall play, class drill, skating on the Vassar Lake, the ice carnival, debates, students’ elections, and Founders’ Day.
Ordway, Katherine Gretta. Diary, 1910-1911
Detailed entries every day. In this volume, written during her sophomore and junior years, she describes student life on campus, including “fancy dancing” class, concerts, a YWCA conference, Vassar College Christian Association, sports (track, swimming, basketball, bicycling, rowing, and tennis), plays, Founder’s Day, the Miscellany, the Sophomore Tree Ceremonies, planning the Junior Party, the Student Association, Daisy Chain, Commencement, and Class Day. She frequently transcribes quotes and anecdotes from religious services, classes (especially German, bible study, and Biology), and lectures. She notes books that she is reading, daily schedules, and assignments. Of particular interest is her involvement in the Debating Society & Argumentation class--she includes the motions they discuss (e.g. topics in immigration law, women’s suffrage, Dred Scott). She also describes her home and family life, particularly her father’s work as a preacher, her close relationship with her younger sister, and her family’s move to Newark, NJ. There are brief mentions of the “Mexican situation” [Revolution] (May 7) and a debate motion about sending US troops to the Mexican border (May 15). She describes a rehearsal for the Sophomore Party where girls performed in blackface (October 20). She has an active religious life, and teaches sunday school and participates in a letter exchange with Vassar graduates who had become missionaries (October 22). Throughout, there are references to a flirtatious relationship with a male friend.
Ordway, Katherine Gretta. Diary, 1911-1912
VC 1913
1911-1912: Detailed daily entries from February of Ordway’s junior year to January of her senior year at Vassar College. Ordway discusses coursework and lectures in Latin, German, physics, English, biology, philosophy, and economics. She records scholarship information. Ordway mentions gym class, swimming lessons, swimming in a tank (Apr 19) and bicycling (referred to as “r[iding] wheel”). In addition to describing their frequent correspondence, Ordway discusses her family’s summer travels and Christmas festivities during her vacations from school. Ordway details sermons by Lyman Abbott and Prexy, and mentions her frequent attendance to Bible class, missionary lectures, chapel services, and VC Christian Association. Ordway shows interest in lectures and studies on woman suffrage and missionary work. Traditions mentioned by Ordway include hall plays, the flag shop, senior parlor, debates, field day, student government, students’ recital,serenade, sophomore tree ceremonies, sophomore party, senior boat ride, class day, alumnae lectures (Sept 30), the mock Yale-Harvard football game, and meeting Saunders (Dec 10). She also reports the Phi Beta Kappa achievement of a blind student, [Marjorie?] Howson of the VC class of 1910 (Oct 9), and the death of her classmate Helen Taylor (Nov 15).
Ordway, Katherine Gretta. Diary, 1912-1913
Entries every day. Ordway details her experiences at Vassar College between January of her junior year and May of her senior year. Her academic involvement in English, German, Economics, Biology, and American History is a central theme of the diary. Ordway mentions attending concerts and dances, and participating in debates (Mar 23 1912, Mar 31 1912, and Feb 1913). Entries in 1913 refer to Ordway’s first applications for teaching jobs. Ordway makes note of many Vassar events and traditions, such as Washington’s birthday, scholarships, the Vassarion election, changes in Vassar policies, class elections , boat races, the election season political paper she started at Vassar, Vassar’s mock presidential voting, the introduction of an honor system for exams, the New Jersey club party, Easter, the senior May Pole and sophomore Trig Ceremonies, the Wake Robin trip to Slabsides, Field Day, and her final papers. Ordway describes her involvement in religious life through meeting missionaries, hearing sermons (usually by her father, or by Vassar’s president), attending Lyman Abbot’s sermon on college (May 19 1912), and summer Bible and mission classes. Historical events mentioned by Ordway include the sinking of the Maine (Mar 16 1912), the sinking of the Titanic (Apr 16 1912), the death of the “Mikado” of Japan (Aug 1 1912), the Kaiser’s visit to Schweiz (Oct 2 1912), a threatened anti-Muslim “outbreak” in Macedonia (Oct 8 1912), the Republican campaign speeches in Collingwood Opera House (Oct 8 1912), the death of Elizabeth Mylod (VC 1913) (Feb 4 1913), and Wilson’s assumption of presidential duties (March 4 1913).
Ordway, Katherine Gretta. Diary, 1913-1914
This volume covers the end of Ordway’s senior year at Vassar and her first year after graduation. She describes the Senior Excursion to Mohonk and bicycling trips. She includes accounts of her graduation events, specifically Commencement, Class Day, “Strong Steps,” Tree Ceremonies, and the Daisy Chain. She also writes about the opening of the new Students’ Building (June 4). After Vassar, Ordway joins a teacher’s agency and interviews for teaching positions. She attends the WCTU World's Convention in the Academy of Music, Brooklyn (October 24) and her mother attends the National WCTU convention (November 4). Ordway visits Ellis Island with the Ladies’ Missionary Society (July 17) and returns to Vassar for a class dinner (November 8). She includes frequent discussions about suffrage and immigration. While interviewing for other positions, Ordway teaches Sunday School and mission study classes in her hometown. Eventually, she is hired to teach high school in Sharon, Connecticut, and writes about her daily life and experiences teaching there.
Pease, Helen Hartley. Diary, 1915-1919
This "line a day" five-year memory book chronicles most of Helen Pease's four years at Vassar, beginning in January of her freshman year. She writes about her daily academic routine and also includes notes on her free time, which she filled by playing the mandolin and piano, singing, dancing, playing basketball, ice skating, sledding, knitting, riding bikes, hiking, and socializing with her classmates. She also writes about her time at home in Boston, vacations on the coast of Maine, and teaching at Bradford Academy after graduation.
Pidgeon, Mary (Kiersted). Diary, 1871
Generally describes daily life at Vassar, including winter conditions and the College, Lady Principal Hannah W. Lyman’s illness (and 55th birthday), horseback riding lessons, and her close friends, especially Abbie and Bertha (likely Bertha Keffer, VC 1876). Pidgeon writes briefly of President John H. Raymond’s lecture on alcohol and tobacco in light of the almost-expulsion of three students in early May. She is a keen observer of weather conditions, noting frequently the temperature, wind, and general conditions of the day. A list of highlights from her diary (not written in her hand) begins on page 139 of the digitized item.
Pollock, Mary (Culver). Diary, 1913-1917
Pollock’s “line-a-day” diary, kept during her last year of high school and her four years at Vassar (1913-1917). Each day in the journal includes a line for each of five successive years. Pollock discusses social events, including card parties, theater and film (Charlie Chaplin), flirtations and crushes, and meeting notable writers (Kate Douglas Wiggin, Evelyn Nesbit). Pollock describes her activism for such organizations and causes as women’s suffrage (Votes for Women sticker, the Suffrage Parade on June 6, 1914), the DAR, and the Red Cross. Pollock references academic experiences related to studying, lab, recitations, compositions, and athletics. She mentions the Vassar traditions related to Field Day, Tree Ceremonies, Commencement, Graduation, Class Day, the Daisy Chain, alumni night at Union, the Freshman Reception, the Geology trip, and visiting Lake Mohonk. Pollock cites significant historical events, such as the [U.S.] declaration of war [on Germany] (April 6, 1917), the sinking of the Lusitania (May 8, 1915), war in China (July 28, 1913), and viewing a military camp (November 4, 1917).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1893
VC 1883, Brief daily entries. Raymond describes her continuing activites at Vassar College, mentioning College Club, music lessons and performance, reading, preparing Latin texts, lectures, and graduation (June 28th). She details various features of her religious life, such as church services, sermons by various ministers, prayer meetings, and Bible study. Raymond discusses her growing involvement in temperance activism, such as by joining the Salvation Army (May 29th) and by attempting interventions with alcohol users. She also records details of her health, including dental work and the fitting of a glass close to her eye (September). Raymond mentions periodical class, plays, social visits, correspondence, and news of acquaintances. Historical events recorded by Raymond include the acquittal of Lizzie Borden (June 20th), sinking of the Victoria (June 23rd), the marriage of the Duke of York (July 6), and the Republican electoral victory (Nov 8).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1894
Short entries in a page a day format. Generally, she writes on her health (including vaccinations and taking electricity), social events, student life, family news, and prayer meetings. She feels a strong religious devotion, and tries to convert others, including a Jew (February 25th) and an alcoholic (May 6th). She is deeply involved in the Salvation Army, as well as attending missionary meetings and the YWCA. She includes descriptions of her classes and academic work, particularly music lessons. She mentions traditions like Commencement, Class Day, Halloween, Freshman Party, and Thanksgiving. She also makes note of current events, like the assassination of President Carnot of France (June 25) and news from Russia. Over the summer, she lives in Chicago and references the strike there (June 2). She visits Hull House on August 3rd and meets Anna Lathrop [Case], as well as her brother and sister (possibly Julia Lathrop). At the end of the year, she also visits a settlement house in New York City’s Chinatown.
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1895
Short entries in a page a day format. Raymond describes her consistent participation in religious life through prayer meetings, religious lectures, and encouragement of others to renounce vices (particularly alcohol and smoking) and proclaim their Christian faith. Illnesses, depressive episodes (“the blues”), and deaths afflict Raymond and her close friends. Raymond references giving music lessons, singing in choir, participating in the Salvation Army, and supporting the College Settlement project. Raymond briefly mentions the Democratic nomination of Horatio King as Secretary of State (Sep 26), her support for women’s suffrage (Nov 5), and the election results in New York City that “went Tammany” [Democratic] despite the Republican votes that “swept the country” (Nov 6).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1896
Short entries in a half page a day format. Raymond describes her academic activities at Vassar, including studying and tutoring in Latin, and giving, taking, and chaperoning music lessons. Raymond mentions class day, graduation, and the naming of Vassar’s new dormitory, Raymond House (Jun 9). Raymond’s social activities include taking bicycle lessons, attending plays, and reading to family and friends. Raymond reports the health issues and deaths affecting her and her social circle. She details her religious involvement through attending services and prayer meetings, reflecting on sermons and lectures, meeting missionaries, observing Lent, participating in the Salvation Army, meeting the Booths [founders of the Salvation Army], and attempting interventions with consumers of alcohol and non-Christians. Historical events referenced by Raymond include the imprisonment of Baptist minister [Alberto Jose] Diaz in Cuba (Sept 13), the fire at Mount Holyoke College (Mon 28),the fire on [Railroad Street], Great Barrington, [MA] (Oct 13), and the election of Raymond’s preferred presidential candidate, William McKinley (Nov 4). Accounts at the back of the diary include “benevolence” records of her donating money to various individuals and causes.
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1897
Short entries in a half page a day format. Raymond describes teaching at a [private] school in [Springfield], Massachusetts, giving music lessons, reading books and studying poetry, reflecting on sermons and religious lectures, and being involved with a list of courses (Feb 12). She refers to her correspondence with students, faculty, administrators (such as James Monroe Taylor) and the Miscellany newspaper at Vassar College. Her social circle also involves faculty and alumnae of other schools in the Massachusetts area, such as Smith College. Throughout the diary, Raymond describes her activities in the Salvation Army, particularly her work in proselytization and encouraging meeting attendees (particularly “Smith”) in their efforts to abstain from alcohol. Raymond mentions the inauguration of President McKinley (Mar 4). At the back of the diary, Raymond includes a draft of a letter for Mr. Charles L. Brace, expressing her interest in social work among the poor of New York City.
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1898
Short entries in a half page a day format. Raymond contemplates sermons and religious literature, including the sermons given by the famed Springfield pastor [Phillip Stafford] Moxom. She details the frustrations and and successes of supporting attendees of temperance meetings (including “Joe” [the host of the meetings] and “Smith”) in their efforts to abstain from alcohol. Thanks to her temperance activism and proselytization, including the music that she performed at revival meetings, Raymond reports receiving an invitation from “Captain Eva” [Evangeline Booth, who was the daughter of the Salvation Army’s founders and later its fourth general] to lead a volunteer meeting in Holyoke. Subsequently, Raymond refers to being placed on the Salvation Army board of finance (Aug 4) and meeting with multiple Salvation Army chapter heads (Sep 14). Raymond describes her summer travels in New York as consisting of visits to a Binghamton insane asylum, an Oxford prison (Jul 30), a “Half-way house” (Aug 2), and a "soldier’s home" (Aug 5). Elsewhere in the diary, Raymond reports on traditions and news of Vassar College, such as the selection of a Marshal for commencement (May 21), theatrical performances (Oct 1), and the death of Professor [Henry] Van Ingen (Nov 18). She describes several visits to Vassar, including her first sight of See Raymond House and Rockefeller Hall (Mar 19); the basketball game, alumnae luncheon, class day, and class reunion on June 7th, and commencement (June 8). Raymond reports teaching anecdotes, her students’ exam results (Sep 20), and her attendance of lectures on teaching in high schools (Oct 14-15). Raymond alludes to concerns for her friendships and for her mother’s health. Raymond reports news of the battle of Santiago, [Cuba during the Spanish-American War] (Jul 2 and 4), and the sinking of the French steamer La Bourgogne “with over 500 passengers” (Jul 6).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1899
Short entries in a half page a day format. Raymond details her involvement in religious life, such as her attendance of prayer-meeting, the sermons of pastors such as [Phillip Stafford] Moxom, “Mr. Hahn’s” religious lectures, theologian Lyman Abbot’s address to a high school (Jun 28), and talks by missionaries. She analyzes the content of several sermons. Raymond writes of her continued support of temperance mission members (particularly “Joe” [the host of the meetings], “Smith” a “teamster,” “W. Brown,” “Baker,” and “Stowe”) in their struggles to abstain from alcohol and tobacco. Raymond references teaching in Springfield, giving music lessons, writing papers, attending a school picnic, and discussing examination results with her pupils. Raymond reports on Vassar College news and alumni activities, including VC president James Monroe Taylor’s invitation to become president of Brown [which he refused] (Feb 9), and [Vassar] College Club elections (Nov 19). Raymond details a June visit to Vassar, including information on her election to Phi Beta Kappa before Vassar Commencement (Jun 14); a school tea (Jun 19); and closing ceremonies, Class Day, and daisy picking (Jun 20). Raymond mentions social news, including visits to her family in Western NY, to her friends in Western MA (near her Springfield job), and to Toronto and Lake Ontario. She expresses concerns over her mother’s health, her friendships, and receiving two love confessions. Raymond references several historic events, such as the many people [including her “Cousin Anna”] who died in the burning of the Windsor Hotel in New York City (Mar 17). Raymond describes seeing President William McKinley (Jun 21) and hearing Governor [Theodore] Roosevelt speak at a military concert (Sep 16).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1900
Short entries in a page a day format. Raymond discusses her experiences teaching in Springfield, mentioning the school’s commencement (Jun 27) and her concerns for the examination results among her pupils and social circle. Raymond details her involvement in religious and social activism, which affects her friendships with Harold and Reeve and her interactions at the temperance mission with Joe, Smith, Julia, and Stowe. She mentions visiting prominent members of the Salvation Army, talking with people from a variety of countries and faiths, attending missionary lectures, hearing a talk by Jane Addams (Mar 8), and contemplating sermons (especially those by the pastor [Phillip Stafford] Moxom). Aiding her activities, Raymond describes learning to ride a bicycle, making her first solo ride on July 14. Raymond refers to visiting Northampton, MA with the [Smith College] Professor [Casimir M.] Podgorski. Raymond mentions attending [Vassar] College Club meetings. She describes the Vassar Alumnae Banquet, Class Day, Promenade, and Presidential Reception (Jun 12) before Commencement (Jun 13). Historical events reported by Raymond include the death of Rear Admiral [John W] Philip (Jun 30); the deadly fire at Hobok[e]n Dock, [NJ] (Jun 30); [false] reports of the execution of all foreigners in Beijing (Jul 4); and President McKinley’s defeat of his opponent [William Jennings] Bryan by a “large electoral vote” (Nov 6).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1901
Short entries in a page a day format. Raymond describes her social life, academic classes, and the books she reads. She also includes her worries over her mother’s health. She writes about the concerts and lectures that she attends, including Jacob Riis and a lecture at her church on the “Race Problem in the South.” She visits the Eden Musée and sees the “Cinematograph.” Raymond writes about her 40th birthday frequently riding her bike. A main focus is her religious life and conversion work, including leading some prayer meetings herself. By the end of the year, troubles with the leader necessitate the closing of the mission. Raymond also notes Queen Victoria’s death, President McKinley’s inauguration for his second term, the assassination attempt on McKinley, his subsequent death, Roosevelt’s inauguration, mourning in New York City for McKinley, and the execution of his killer.
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1902
Short entries in a page a day format. This volume discusses Raymond's social life and experiences at work with her students. Her mother breaks her hip this year, prompting Raymond to worry for her mother's health. Raymond also reflects on her active religious life, including continuing to convert and reform alcoholics.
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1903
Short entries in a page a day format. Raymond discusses providing music lessons, Latin tutoring, substitute teaching, and chaperoning field trips for a private school in Springfield. She mentions the students’ play and charity ball, as well as her coworkers’ salary negotiations. Raymond describes her continuing involvement with religious and social reform. Although Raymond reports initial tensions related to Joe’s decision to revive his temperance mission (despite having relapsed into alcohol abuse multiple times), she explains that she eventually resumed participating in meetings, collecting donations, bringing her Salvation Army “Volunteer” acquaintances to Joe’s mission, and visiting former mission attendees who have resumed drinking. With regards to her religious studies, Raymond analyzes the sermons of Moxom and other pastors, mentions topics of her Bible and Outlook class, and writes a paper on the Beatitudes. She reports meeting Jewish and Chinese converts to Christianity at a prayer meeting and hearing missionary lectures. Raymond consistently references her involvement in the [Vassar] College Club, particularly its elections, dues, settlements [scholarships], and meetings. She also mentions her visits to other colleges in the northeast, such as Mount Holyoke College (Jan 31, Jun 3, Jun 5, and Jun 10), Smith College (Jun 10), Amherst College (Jun 10), and a college professor in the Hamilton, NY area (Jun 24). Raymond also mentions her social visits and attendance of concerts. She describes the efforts of her friends and mission members to comfort her after the death of the journalist “Harold,” (who she had successfully persuaded to cease alcohol abuse). Historical events mentioned by Raymond include the finding of “Ford Howard’s dead body” near [New] Haven, [CT, after he had fallen from an icy ledge] (Mar 1) and [widespread forest] fires in Maine, [West New Hampshire], Canada, and the Adirondacks (June 4).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1904
Short entries in a page a day format. Raymond discusses her work for Joe’s temperance mission, mentioning collecting donations, finding relapsed mission members (Mar 30), and attempting to involve members of the Springfield YWCA. She describes attending Hahn’s prayer meetings and various pastors’ sermons. Raymond reports witnessing several conversion experiences, including one of a “back sliding” [relapsed] Salvation Army captain” (Jan 24). In regards to other organizations, Raymond mentions being elected to the membership committee of the Western Massachusetts branch ACA (Mar 1) and attending a Meeting of College Alumnae. Related to teaching, Raymond describes her anxiety for her students’ examinations, her colleagues’ dissatisfaction with their salaries, taking students on field trips, and attending their graduation day (Jun 15). Raymond reports keeping in contact with her friends from Vassar, attending Vassar’s field day and play (May 7), and encouraging a student to have an “earnest talk” about her failure with her professor (May 8). Raymond describes developing a friendship with Malcolm Hughes, visiting the Northampton Hotel (May 27), attending concerts, reading, and caring for her mother and for Mrs. MacGregor. Historical events mentioned by Raymond include the US “taking” the Philippines (Jul 3), the opening of the Rosebud [Sioux] reservation (Aug 8), the fire in Cleveland House (Aug 14), [Theodore] Roosevelt’s election by a “perfect landslide” (Nov 9), the illness of Springfield pastor [Phillip Stafford] Moxom, and “Mrs. Winston’s” call at the White House (Nov 19).
Raymond, Cornelia M. Diary, 1905
Entries every day. At the beginning of the diary, Raymond describes her mother's illness and death (Feb 7), an event affecting her deeply. Throughout the diary, Raymond discusses her temperance activism and associated social work through “Joe’s mission” and the Y.W.C.A. She describes sermons (particularly those of Dr. Moxom), church services, and outlook class, prayer meetings. Relating to her work as a teacher and her academic interests, Raymond describes giving lessons in music and Latin, her students’ graduation, lectures, reading, and a lecture given by Henry James at Smith College (May 16). Maintaining her connections to Vassar College, Raymond reports attending College Club, visiting Vassar (Apr 14-17), and hearing of [VC Lady Principal] Mrs. Kendrick’s illness (Apr.14). She encloses a newspaper clipping on Vassar’s memorial for Mrs. Backus (Dec 1). She discusses social visits, social news, the wedding of her brother Will (July 6), correspondence, financial investments, her health, and osteopathy. Historical events mentioned by Raymond include the “annihilation” of the Russian fleet in battle (May 20), and the czar granting liberty to Russia (Oct 3), and a trolley accident in Longmeadow (Nov 18).

Pages