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February 20, 1897

Speaking at the first annual meeting of the Vassar Alumnae Historical Association, Professor of History Lucy Maynard Salmon reviewed the ten years’ history of Vassar’s history department and the aims of the association, founded on commencement morning, June 9, the previous year: “increasing the appliances for the historical department, the preservation of historical material and the introduction of more scientific methods into the work done by local societies.” “A chart had been prepared,” noted The Vassar Miscellany, “giving the number of historical societies in the various States and Territories, illustrating the amount of unoccupied territory, the development of whose historical material might furnish inspiration to the members of the Vassar Association.” The main feature of the meeting were the comprehensive reports from alumnae on “State and Local Historical Interests,” ranging from the Catholic historical societies, the City History Club of New York and “the account of the collection of Dutch documents made by the Troy Society” to state reports from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, more local reports of historical work in Dutchess County, Cayuga County, Kingston and Charleston and “the Southern States,” which offered “a rich field but little worked.”

Beginning almost a year earlier with 41 charater members, the association’s membership numbered 127, 39 of whom were able to attend the first annual meeting. The group had purchased for the College The Jesuit Relations, The Virginia Historical Society Collections, Brown’s Genesis of the United States and Force’s Tracts, expending $58.55 of its $199 in annual receipts.

The Years