In a pamphlet, Suggestions for the Year’s Study in History, Professor Lucy Maynard Salmon defined the “note topic,” later known to generations of history students at Vassar: “The topic is a study made of a limited field of history.  It involves the use of various parallel authorities, it brings to a conclusion the reading done on the subject, and when finished it is in plan a miniature chapter of a book.”  Notes were taken and the topic presented on the “history” or “topic” pad designed by Miss Salmon.