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Academies and seminaries collection

 Record Group — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RG 31

Scope and Contents

The Academies and Seminaries Collection is comprised of documents from 38 women’s schools. The collection is contained in 4 boxes and is not separated into series. The first folder in the collection contains articles that cover the topic of women’s schools more generally, and the remaining folders are sorted alphabetically by school name. In many cases, the amount of material dedicated to an individual institution is not sufficient to offer an in-depth examination; rather, the strength of the collection lies in the breadth of its contents.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of catalogues which list the courses, requirements, costs, and facilities of the institution in question. A number of newspaper articles are also collected, and a small number of published works that offer detailed history of selected schools. Typically these works are authored by alumnae and former faculty. Schools that are particularly well-documented in this collection include Abbott Academy, Bradford Academy, Granville Female Academy/Seminary, Hartford Female Seminary, Ingham University (originally known as LeRoy Female Seminary), Lexington MA Normal School, Oread Collegiate Institute, and Young Ladies Institute.

The collection is dated 1810-1999, with the bulk of the material dating between 1840 and 1930.


  • Creation: 1810 - 1999
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1840 - 1930

Conditions Governing Access



1.68 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Academies and Seminaries Collection brings together a variety of sources relating to private schools (chiefly for girls or women) in the United States (and one in Canada) which were established in the nineteenth century, many of them modeled after Mount Holyoke Female Seminary or otherwise following the recommendations of its founder, Mary Lyon. Materials date from 1810 to 1999 and include correspondence, reports, catalogues, circulars, brochures, articles, historical sketches, notes, and biographical information about the founders of a number of these schools.

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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA