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About the Collection


The Vassar College Costume Collection (VCCC) is a collection of over 500 examples of original historic clothing, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The collection is maintained within the Drama Department by Holly Hummel and Arden Kirkland (VC ‘93), with the help of numerous Vassar students and alumnae. Although most items have been donated over the years, by alumnae and their families, to be used as costumes in theatrical productions, these objects have been kept separate from the theatrical costume stock in order to conserve them for research purposes.

The mission of the collection is twofold: to provide physical artifacts to support the study of the history of fashion, and to preserve the history of the college itself. Each object in the collection can serve as an example to teach about fashion’s norms or innovations, yet each also comes to us from Vassar’s community and represents Vassar’s own past, telling us in turn about the history of women’s education and the history of the Hudson Valley.