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Vassar College Archival Recordings Project: Music as Document and Indicator of Social Change


“Music as Document and Indicator of Social Change”

Vassar's Soph PartyVassar College Libraries is pleased to announce the digitization of nearly 300 unique recordings from the Vassar College Archives Audio Collection. Digitized recordings, and related visual image files, capture close to 80 years of collegiate music making. The music traditions, oral histories, and intercollegiate and local collaborations between faculty, students, and the surrounding community represented in this collection are an invaluable resource for   understanding the musical heritage of female educational institutions. The Vassar College Archives Audio Project “Music as Document and Indicator of Social Change” was supported by a Recordings at Risk grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Mellon Foundation.

Due to the scarcity of recorded material on this subject, scholarship regarding music in female educational institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries has had to rely largely on text archives to inform research. However, the recorded and visual information in this collection will broaden answers to scholarly questions regarding music practices in these institutions. The unique recordings in this collection help document the impact on music-making brought by changes in higher education, such as co-education, and are valuable to scholars in fields such as gender, cultural studies, musicology and local history.

Researchers may freely peruse metadata for this valuable resource online at: Access to the audio and visual files in this collection are available for education and research purposes only. To request access, please email: