Lucy Maynard Salmon and Adelaide Underhill Collection

Cover Image:
Lucy Maynard Salmon and Adelaide Underhill Collection
Photograph, 263 Mill Street home interior (kitchen -- sink and counter) - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:

Historical Context

Lucy Maynard Salmon was born in 1853 in Fulton, New York. She entered University of Michigan in 1872, one year after it began to admit women. She taught high school in Iowa and then returned to Michigan and received a Master’s degree in History. She continued her studies at Bryn Mawr, and in 1887 was hired by Vassar College to establish the history department. Adelaide Underhill of Skaneateles, New York, was a senior when Lucy Salmon joined the faculty and quickly became a star pupil and ardent admirer. After she graduated in 1888, she attended the Library School at Columbia University and received her Master’s degree, and returned to Vassar as a librarian in 1892.

Scope of Collection

This collection focuses on the partnership between Lucy Maynard Salmon and Adelaide Underhill, two important women in the early years of Vassar College, and the way that their relationship informed, shaped and sustained their work and their lives. They were particularly intentional in their approach to creating a home together, and it appears that they were equally intentional in leaving a documentary record of their relationship for future generations. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, clippings, bookplates, pamphlets and Lucy Maynard Salmon's last will and testament.