Beyond Vassar

Going Once, Going Twice...

By Micah Buis '02

The popular online auction site eBay has become a favorite spot to locate that difficult-to-find first edition comic book or to sell your unwanted goods to eager bidders around the world. Even Vassar hasn’t been able to escape eBay’s reach.

Vassar Pennant
Vassar Pennant
From old yearbooks to pennants, historic prints to Wedgwood plates, Vassar memorabilia has hit the auction block. Collectors and Vassar alumnae/i alike are scrambling to get their hands on the sometimes valuable, always nostalgic reminders of old VC.

Brooke Duncan ’74 began using eBay to find Vassariana several years ago. He now has an ongoing search that alerts him anytime a seller adds a new item to the site that has a Vassar connection. “The most interesting lot — which I didn’t bid on — was a lock of what was purported to be Jackie Kennedy’s hair. The description of the item mentioned that she attended Vassar.”

Passing over the unusual lots, Duncan prefers more traditional purchases. “My mother [Katherine Foster Duncan] was from the class of 1949. I had lost her yearbook, so I was most grateful to find a copy on eBay following her death a year and a half ago.”

Duncan also says that he especially likes items that he can “hold and display.” To this end, his office has become a sort of Vassar gallery, sporting a framed print of the founding of Vassar, three Vassar Wedgwood plates, and two small ceramicware pieces.

Anne Cleveland Book
Anne Cleveland Book
Lest you think this enterprising alumnus depends solely on an online auction site, Duncan began actively searching for Vassar memorabilia long before eBay or even the Internet came about. “Since graduation I have been scouring booksellers and sellers of ‘ephemera’ for Vassar items. I obtained one of my most prized possessions this way, a scrapbook compiled by a Vassar student of the 1890s.”

If you have a fun Vassar eBay story, send it to us at, or check out for yourself and become sold on Vassar once again.