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Ipswich Female Seminary Collection, 1828-[present] (Bulk: 1828-1875)
2 boxes (7.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0556 (LD 7093.38 I6)

Abstract:
Ipswich Female Seminary. Founded in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1828. Papers consist of catalogues, circulars and announcements, administrative and regulatory documents, records for the Society for the Education of Females, correspondence, ceremonial records, published materials, and photographs documenting primarily the philosophies of the school, the activities of students and teachers, and the administrative work of Zilpah P. (Grant) Banister and Mary Lyon.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted.

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Ipswich Female Seminary opened in April, 1828 in Ipswich Massachusetts. Zilpah P. Grant (later Banister) was the first principal and Mary Lyon was her assistant. It was dedicated to training girls to become teachers and missionaries; students did practice teaching under the guidance of a teacher. The average enrollment was 116 students per term. The course of study included English, arithmetic, geography, chemistry, human physiology, history, the natural sciences, religion, vocal music, and calisthenics. The Seminary sent eighty-eight teachers to the western and southern states to work as educational missionaries. The school closed in 1839 due to Grant's retirement and reopened in 1844 under the supervision of graduate Eunice Caldwell Cowles and her husband, the Reverend John P. Cowles. It closed permanently in 1876 because of the increasing number of public schools.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ipswich Female Seminary Collection consists of catalogues, circulars and announcements, administrative and regulatory documents, records of the Society for the Education of Females, a student document, correspondence, a speech, ceremonial records, a book, published articles, and photographs. Most of the collection concerns the courses and principles of the Seminary and the activities of its students, teachers, and alumnae. The catalogues list the names and home addresses of the students, names of teachers and trustees, and provide information on the curriculum, objectives, academic calendar, and fees of the Seminary. The collection also includes publicity pamphlets and reports of the 1836 and 1837 winter terms, as well as published and unpublished rules and regulations for students and teachers. The collection includes records for the Society for the Education of Females, which loaned money to Ipswich students. These records consist of the constitution, regulations, notes, as well as records of the beneficiaries and benefactors of the Society. The correspondence was written by and to the Seminary students, alumnae, and faculty between 1830-1864, mostly describing students' impressions of the Seminary, accommodations, daily schedules and traditions, as well as the characters of Zilpah P. Grant and Mary Lyon. One letter from 1849 recounts Lyon's death. Other information in the collection includes the address "Hints on Reading" given at the Seminary by Reverend Daniel Dana in 1834, as well as the "Order of Exercises," which contains the schedule for examinations and music recitations, "Farewell Songs" and graduating ceremony program of the school. There is also historical information on the Seminary documenting the founding and importance of the school in advancing female education, and the influence of teachers Grant, Lyon, and graduate Eunice Caldwell Cowles on the Seminary. There are portraits of several students and stereoscopic photographs showing the Seminary building.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ipswich Female Seminary Collection, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection


Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

Email Reference Form: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/

Language
English.