Vassar College Digital Library
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Wolven Glass Plate Negative Collection: Founder's Day, 1900-1935

1300 plates

Founder's Day has included a variety of activities since the first celebration on April 29th,1866, Matthew Vassar's birthday. The images in this series document visits to the founder's grave, step-singing and the Song Contest, the faculty-student baseball game, parades, and various performances. Attendees of the baseball game, the parades, and the performances were encouraged to dress in costume, according to either a predetermined theme or individual whim. With some frequency, these costumes and performances were based on racist or stereotypical representations of marginalized groups, including blackface, redface, and yellowface. Similarly, the faculty play or skit show which was given on the evening of Founder's Day, included racist and stereotypical costumes and performances.

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Content Warning

The Vassar College Archives within the Digital Library include some images, texts, and material items that are racist, xenophobic, or otherwise harmful. The Vassar Libraries have provided descriptive text and additional notes whenever possible to alert Digital Library users to these items. The Engaged Pluralism Initiative Race and Racism in Historical Collections Project Group is working with the library on contextualizing and facilitating community conversations about these materials. For more information see: https://library.vassar.edu/rrhc
 

Founder's Day

Image
94774-Service File.jpg
Date
1925-05-01
Description

Students dressed in costumes at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
94961-Service File.jpg
Date
1925-05-01
Description

Class of 1925 at the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
94102-Service File.jpg
Date
1916-05-05
Description

Faculty-student baseball game. President MacCracken is playing catcher

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Founder's Day

Image
94676-Service File.jpg
Date
1930-04-25
Description

President MacCracken dressed in a stereotypical Middle Eastern costume and a student at the festivities after the Founder's Day parade

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Founder's Day

Image
94994-Service File.jpg
Date
1922-04-28
Description

Class of 1922 marching to the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
94709-Service File.jpg
Date
1924-05-02
Description

Song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
94876-Service File.jpg
Date
1928-04-27
Description

Student conductor at the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
93903-Service File.jpg
Date
1924-05-02
Description

Students in costume at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
94471-Service File.jpg
Date
1903-1907
Description

Copy photograph of students with kazoos and a drum. Could be the Class of 1907

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Founder's Day

Image
95260-Service File.jpg
Date
1930-04-25
Description

Dean C. Mildred Thompson at the festivities after the Founder's Day parade

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Founder's Day

Image
94778-Service File.jpg
Date
1925-05-01
Description

Students dressed as pirates at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
94962-Service File.jpg
Date
1925-05-01
Description

Class of 1925 at the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
94108-Service File.jpg
Date
1927-04-29
Description

Students in costume, one on a horse. Others are in what might have been intended to represent Native American dress

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Founder's Day

Image
94677-Service File.jpg
Date
1930-04-25
Description

Students in costume for the Founder's Day parade, one dressed as Charlie Chaplin

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Founder's Day

Image
94995-Service File.jpg
Date
1922-04-28
Description

Class of 1924 performing on the steps of Student's Building during the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
94710-Service File.jpg
Date
1924-05-02
Description

Students in costume at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
94877-Service File.jpg
Date
1928-04-27
Description

Members of the Class of 1930 with the banner for best song at the song contest

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Founder's Day

Image
93904-Service File.jpg
Date
1924-05-02
Description

Students in costume at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
94497-Service File.jpg
Date
1922-04-28
Description

Students in costume at the faculty-student baseball game

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Founder's Day

Image
95263-Service File.jpg
Date
1930-04-25
Description

Students in costume for the Founder's Day parade

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