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Guide to the Ella McCaleb Papers, 1895-1927

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: McCaleb, Ella, 1856-1933
Title: Ella McCaleb Papers
Dates: 1895-1927
Quantity: 0.75 cubic feet (2 boxes)
Abstract: Correspondence, articles, photographs and clippings relating to McCaleb's involvement as a Vassar College student and administrator.

Biographical Note

Ella McCaleb (1856 -1933), first dean of Vassar College, was born in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, and was graduated from Vassar in 1878. After teaching for seven years she returned to Vassar in 1885 as secretary to the president. Seven years later, in 1893, her title became Secretary of the College; and in the succeeding years she attained the ranks of associate professor and professor. Miss McCaleb's duties included much of the college's academic affairs, and it is reported that for many years she and President Taylor personally conducted the entire correspondence of the college.

By 1913 the expansion of the college required adjustments in its administration. Miss McCaleb, known as "Kay," was appointed by President Taylor to the newly created position of Dean of the College and moved into a new house given to the college by the alumnae for her lifetime use. In the years of President MacCracken's administration until her retirement in 1923, Dean McCaleb provided a strong link to the college's earlier years.


Scope and Content Note

Correspondence includes her letters regarding admission examinations, the President's house, and other Vassar affairs, and her personal letters to family members; other items include her articles, speeches, and notes pertaining to Vassar; photographs; and clippings and tributes about McCaleb.



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Librarywithout any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

  • Florence McCaleb Papers

Subject Headings


  • Vassar College--Administration.
  • Vassar College--Entrance examinations.


  • McCaleb family.
  • Women college administrators.

Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, April 2007.


Preferred Citation

Ella McCaleb Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ella McCaleb's niece, Florence McCaleb.


Container List

  • Folder 1.1 Articles, speeches, and notes
  • Folder 1.2 Correspondence, 1895-1927
  • Folder 1.3 Newspaper clippings about Ella McCaleb
  • Folder 1.4 Tributes
  • Folder 1.5 Family and miscellaneous items
  • Box 2 Photographs, including some framed and some unidentified photographs