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Vassar College History

Vassar College Digital Library

Vassar College's Digital Library digitizes, makes available, and preserves materials important to the library and Vassar College. We create collections using both existing digital material and by converting analog materials, including slides, print photographs, audio, and text.

Using the VC Digital Library

Search Terms               

Remember that when searching primary sources you should use terms that reflect the material's context. For example, if you're looking for information about Maria Mitchell in the Diaries or Letters, searching for <mitchell> alone or <miss mitchell> will likely produce more hits than a search that includes <maria>, because students would never have referred to a professor by their first name in the 19th century. Also, think about terms that would have been used during the time period. For example, if you're looking for descriptions of early cars and driving, using <car> as a search term will give you results about trolleys and trains. However a search for <automobile>, <auto>, or <motor> is more successful.   

General Collections Search

This search includes most but not all of the collections in the Digital Library. See this list for more details.

Use the box in the upper right so do a keyword search of several collections at once.

Refer to the Digital library's Help page for more detail:

Basic Single Collection Search

Navigate from the Collections List to the specific collection you want to search.

Use the "Search the Collections Box" to do a keyword search.

Advanced Collections Search

Choose a field to search for a particular word in a particular field. Add additional fields as necessary with the + sign.

To search full text for multiple words, choose the text field, put a single word in each box, and add additional fields as necessary with the + sign. This will give you a results list for pages that contain all of the words in your search.

The advanced search option allows for wild card searching. Wild cards enable the search for multiple words with the same root or for multiple spellings of words. This is usually done through the use of an asterisk <*>. For example if you wanted hits for both <auto> and <automobile>, entering <auto*> into the advanced search box will give you results that include auto AND automobile, but also autograph, automate, and autocrat.

Note: this will search across the collections on this list.


Go to bottom left "Browse" option. See a full list of all the collection descriptions, or browse across collections for titles, authors or subjects.


VC Newspapers: Using the Newspaper Archive

Browse by Date

If you know a particular era or specific date, you can browse issues using the calendar option located on the home page.


You can perform a simple search by typing keywords in the search box on the home page and clicking "Search". The search engine will return results that include all of your search terms.

You can search for an exact phrase by placing quotation marks around your search terms, for example "Julia Lathrop".

The "Refine search" area gives you a number of options to limit your search results, such as by date or by a particular publication.

Advanced search

Conduct a simple search from the home page, then choose, the Advanced Search tab. This allows you to limit your search results from the start of your search by one or more publications and/or a date range.

It also allows you to search within titles only, choose the number of search results you want displayed on each page, and choose whether you would like preview images displayed with your search results.

More search strategy tips are available here.


Articles can be printed directly from your web browser, after selecting the article and clicking the "Clip this article" link.

If available, PDF versions of issues and pages can be downloaded for printing.