Open Access Week 2017

Open access symbol of open padlock. Open Access Week runs from Oct. 23-29, 2017.

Open access at Vassar College is in full swing! Following the Vassar College Open Access Policy passed by the faculty in May 2017, the Libraries have been preparing to store and make available the scholarship produced at Vassar through our institutional repository, Digital Window. Just in time for this year’s Open Access Week, we are thrilled to capture the faculty research produced at Vassar through our open access resolution, knowing that this research is open in order to increase the readership for Vassar scholarship and contribute to a more equitable scholarly information ecosystem.

Submit your OA workIf you are a faculty member and would like to submit the final author’s version of your peer-reviewed article (sometimes called a “pre-print”) simply go to our submission instructions and follow the steps on the screen. Note: before you submit your work, be sure you are logged into your Vassar OneLogin account. (If you’re logged in already, you can use the “submit your work” button on this page to go directly to the submission form.)

Other open access initiatives at Vassar College

Although our OA policy is new at Vassar, our dedication to open access is not. We heard from many faculty members that have already contributed to open access journals, subject repositories (like for physics), and publications, and have even released books as OA scholarship! The Libraries have also released many projects in an OA way. Our digital library materials, for example, are available to the public, allowing scholars of all levels from around the world to utilize these important objects in their own work. It also allows us to contribute to larger initiatives such as the Digital Public Library of America (see many of Vassar’s materials in DPLA) and our NEH-funded grant, College Women.

Our open access work also applies to materials in our archives that have been incorporated into larger projects. The Ruth Fulton Benedict Papers is an example of an OA project that involved a commercial publisher (Alexander Street Press) and our Archives & Special Collections Library to foster a process that helped challenge the ways in which these materials could be made available. We worked with Alexander Street Press to digitize and make freely available more than 8,000 pages of diaries, field notes, articles, teaching materials, and correspondence (much of which is transcribed), as well as photographs. True to Benedict’s own principles, the materials are available to all to lay the foundation for future work: as she stated during her acceptance speech for the Annual Achievement Award of American Association of University Women in 1946, “I have faith of a scientist that behavior, no matter how unfamiliar to us, is understandable if the problem is stated so that it can be answered by investigation and if then studied by technically suitable methods. And I have the faith of a humanist in the adventures of mutual understanding of men.”

Finally, the Libraries have been a contributing member of the Lever Press, an “open access, digitally native, peer-reviewed scholarly monographs” publisher established by a group of liberal arts colleges. Lever Press has been on the forefront of new ways of producing and releasing monographs, and the Libraries are thrilled to be sponsors of this important initiative. Lever Press will host an OA Week webinar, “Open Access Monographs: Current Initiatives, Sustainable Models,” on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 at 4:00 p.m. EST for anyone interested in this work. (The webinar is free but registration is required.)

For more information about open access at Vassar, contact Rachelle Ramer, Scholarly Communications Librarian and Research Librarian for the Sciences, at raramer – at –, or email openaccess – at –

Wishing you a happy Open Access Week!

Welcome (back) to the Libraries!

The following is a guest post from Andrew Ashton, Director of the Libraries.

For those of you new at Vassar, welcome! And for those of you returning, welcome back.  Many changes have happened over the summer and in the past year. We look forward to sharing another great year of information discovery with you!

DVD collection


Believe it or not, there is a whole world of film and video out there that does not stream. Come browse!

We are pleased to announce that DVDs are now available as part of the circulating collection.  Housed outside the Class of ’51 Reading Room on the second floor of the Thompson (Main) Library, these materials are now available for browsing and checkout without needing to be paged.  The collection contains more than 12,000 items and showcases popular movies, documentaries, and hard-to-find items, encompassing many languages and cinematic styles. External disk drives can be borrowed at the Circulation Desk.

Please note that the Archives & Special Collections Library and the Music Library collections are not affected by this change.

New chairs

Old chair to new chair: "Why so quiet?"

Old chair to new chair: “Why so quiet?”

You asked and we answered!  Over the summer, we began the process of replacing the (beautiful but squeaky) caned chairs throughout the Thompson (Main) Library.  We’ll continue the process throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.  Look for the new chairs at the tables in the reading rooms on the first floor.

Digital Library Collections


Letter from Susan B. Anthony to President Grover Cleveland, 27 March 1888.

The digital library team was busy this summer loading in new collections that we hope will be very useful for research and teaching.  New collections include noted suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s papers, a nice complement to the Susan B. Anthony collection we uploaded earlier this year.  We also made available such collections as the Jasper Parrish papers (1757-1836), focusing on the relationship between the Six Nations and the early United States; put the finishing touches on our Matthew Vassar Papers, featuring materials related to the history of the founding of the College; and our Glass Plate Negatives collection, depicting students, events, and buildings from 1904-1935.  More Glass Plate Negatives photos, as well as scrapbooks, letters, and photo albums, will be uploaded this year, thanks to the generosity of private donors and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). View more collections at

Group Study Rooms

Did you know that we have group study rooms available on the ground floor?  You can check out a key to one of the rooms at the Circulation Desk (just bring your Vassar ID), and head downstairs with your group.  Action Einstein will show you how to get there.

Exhibitions and Events

We’ll be sending out more information about our upcoming Shakespeare exhibition and events, as well as events and exhibitions in the Art Library.  Look for information on our blog, Facebook page, or Twitter feed!

Hours for the semester

Fall semester hours began on Monday, August 29.  Check the Hours page on the library’s website for any changes to this schedule.

  • Monday – Thursday: Circulation & Reserves Desk: 8:30am – 12:00 midnight
  • Friday: Circulation & Reserves Desk: 8:30am – 10:00pm
  • Saturday: Circulation & Reserves Desk: 9:00am – 10:00pm
  • Sunday: Circulation & Reserves Desk: 10:00am – 12:00 midnight

The after-hours study space (north side of the building, closest to Chicago Hall) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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