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International Institute for Girls in Spain Records, 1881-1986
53 boxes (24 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 70

A non-denominational Christian girls school in Spain. Contains correspondence, memorabilia, minutes, reports, photographs, and publications.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Historical Note

The International Institute for Girls in Spain evolved out of a school founded by a Protestant missionary in Santander, Spain, in 1877. The Institute was incorporated in Massachusetts in 1892 as a non-denominational Christian organization "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining an institution for the education of girls in Spain."

The following is a brief outline of the major events in the history of the IIGS. A published history of the early years of the Institute, Misioneras, feministas, educadoras: Historia del Instituto Internacional by Carmen de Zulueta (Madrid: Editorial Castalia, 1984), is available in the archives reading room. Short histories of the Institute in English and Spanish can be found within the records in Series IV - Historical Materials and Memorabilia, and in Series XI - Publications.

Chronology of major events in the history of the IIGS.
1871 Alice Gordon Gulick and her husband William go to Spain to establish a Protestant mission under the auspices of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). They settle in Santander.
1875 Alice Gordon Gulick organizes a day school to teach reading and writing to sons and daughters of mission church members.
1877 Alice Gordon Gulick founds a boarding school with the aim of training young Spanish women to become teachers in Protestant mission schools. The school consists of 5 pupils. The Women's Board of Missions (WBM) of the ABCFM agrees to support the school and help provide teachers.
1881 The Gulicks move the school to San Sebastian where it is known as the Colegio Norteamericano. Alice Gordon Gulick starts a series of appeals for outside funds to establish a women's college in Spain along the lines of her alma mater, Mt. Holyoke.
1888 Two teachers establish a school library 'to cultivate a taste for books' among the students.
1890 Some students in the school begin training for university level study by preparing to pass the state exam for a secondary degree (bachillerato).
1892 To secure legal right to own property and conduct a school, the International Institute for Girls in Spain is incorporated in Massachusetts.
1898-1903 The International Institute moves across the French border to Biarritz during the Spanish-American War.
1902 The IIGS Corporation purchases a house in Madrid (at Fortuny 53) to establish the school on a permanent basis where it can collaborate more closely with Spanish educational reformers.
1903 The Institute moves to Madrid. Alice Gordon Gullck dies on September 24. The International Institute League is formed in the U.S. as an adjunct to the Corporation to continue Mrs. Gulick-'s fund-raising efforts. The Corporation and the WBM divide the school into two departments supported and administered separately. The WBM funds the Normal Department for Spanish Girls which provides the first three years of training and continues the work of the evangelical school. The Corporation provides the last three years of training in the Collegiate Department preparing its students for university-level study. A permanent fund is established for the library which is given its own room.
1904 Work is begun on a building at Miguel Angel 8 to be known as Alice Gordon Gulick Memorial Hall. The Institute establishes a course to prepare students to study music in a conservatory. The Institute inaugurates a series of lectures by leading intellectuals.
1906 The two departments are separated into two distinct schools. The evangelical school becomes the Colegio Internacional para Senoritas with Anna F. Webb as director and WBM funding. The university preparatory school is known as the llGS with Bertha C. Bidwell as director and funding from the IIGS Corporation and the International Institute League. William H. Gulick serves as rector for both schools.
1910 Alice Gordon Gulick Memorial Hall is completed: The Colegio Internacional para Senoritas moves to Barcelona. Susan Huntington is appointed Director of the IIGS.
1916 The Junta para Ampliacion de Estudios e Investigaciones Cientificas (Board for the Promotion of Historical Research and Scientific Investigation), a group established by the state to promote education, presents the Corporation with a proposal for collaboration.
1917 As a war measure, the IIGS agrees to collaborate with the Junta as a 3-year experiment. The two IIGS buildings (Fortuny 53 and Miguel Angel 8) are leased to the Junta for the use of the Residencia de Senoritas (a residence and center for women university students) and the Instituto-Escuela (a co-educational elementary and secondary school founded as an experiment in modern educational methods). The IIGS supplies "a few," American instructors to teach English, physical education, and science. These instructors, paid by the Corporation, are to "continue the American influence," participate in academic policy making, run the library, and provide instruction in areas where it is otherwise unavailable in Spain. The IICS ceases to function as an autonomous entity.
1920 The University of Madrid agrees to give credit for laboratory work successfully completed at the Institute under the supervision of the American instructors. Labs are set up at the IIGS because the University has no lab space for women.
1924 As part of the collaboration, the libraries of the Residencia de Senoritas and IIGS are merged.
1925 The International Institute League (formed 1903) disbands.
1927 The building at Fortuny 53 is sold to the Junta for the use of the Residencia. A condition of the sale is that the building be used for the education of women. Library science courses are established at the Institute.
1928 The Instituto-Escuela moves to its own building leaving Miguel Angel 8 to the IIGS. Institute staff continues to collaborate with the Residencia teaching classes in English and library science.
1930 The IIGS agrees to rent space to Smith College's newly established junior year in Spain program.
1936-39 The IIGS and the Residencia shut down during the Spanish Civil War.
1939-44 World War II. Miguel Angel 8 is under the care of the U.S. Embassy. The library of the IIGS remains open and the librarians continue to teach English and library science on a small scale. There is no American staff in Madrid. Though Mary Sweeney is the board-appointed Director, Enriqueta Martin acts as the Corporation's representative in Spain. The Corporation uses its funds to subsidize schools in France and Mexico for Spanish refugee children under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee.
1944-50 Afraid of losing the building and unwilling to continue to cooperate with the Franco government, the IIGS rents Miguel Angel 8 to the U.S. Embassy for the storage of Embassy documents. The embassy offers to repair the building and provide space elsewhere in Madrid for the re-establishment of IIGS programs.
1946 The IIGS establishes its Foreign Scholars Program. Under this program the IIGS sponsors or helps to sponsor study in the U.S. and England for some of its most advanced students.
1947 Americans resume teaching English through the Institute.
1950 The IIGS moves back into Miguel Angel 8 and agrees to share the building with Colegio-Estudio, a private school established along the lines of the Instituto-Escuela. The IIGS administers its own programs in English and library science, provides English teachers for Colegio-Estudio, sponsors concerts, lectures, English-speaking teas, and exhibits, and rents space to other educational programs. A group of graduates of the library science program forms the Asociacion de Diplomados del Instituto Internacional (alumnae association). The children's library is established as a separate entity in order to serve Colegio-Estuaio's students and subsequently the general community.
1950s and 1960s The IIGS explores a variety of programs and activities of its own while renting space to various junior year abroad and graduate study programs from American colleges and universities.
1951 The Institute establishes extension courses in library science in other cities in Spain.
1952 The English Program is reorganized into two courses, one concentrating on the study of the English language and American civilization and literature, the other providing training in teaching English as a second language.
1967 Colegio-Estudio moves to its own building but retains offices in Miguel Angel 8.
1968 A development plan is prepared and foundation support is sought for an expansion of IIGS programs. The effort is, for the most part, unsuccessful.
1971- The Institute begins litigation to reclaim Fortuny 53 which is no longer being used for the education of women (a condition of the sale of the building in 1927).
1979 Faced with financial and legal problems, the Institute reduces its activities. The library science program is taken over by Spanish universities, the University of Southern California assumes administration of the English Program, and the Psychology program is reduced to a few courses.
1980 The Corporation votes to cease operations in Madrid as of June 30, 1981. This decision is never carried out.
1985 The University of Southern California English Program closes. The IIGS votes to re-establish its own English program. The Freshman Year Program is established to prepare Spanish students to transfer to American colleges and universities to study for an undergraduate degree.
Presidents of the Corporation
1892-1897 John N. Denison
1897-1901 Alice Freeman Palmer
1901-1907 Samuel B. Capen
1907-1909 Daniel Merriman
1909-1912 Charles H. Rutan
1913 Samuel C. Darling (Acting)
1913-1928 Lewis Kennedy Morse
1928-1946 William Allan Neilson
1946-1949 Robert Granville Caldwell
1949-1969 Saville Rogers Davis
1965-1969 Sumner Willard ("Chancellor" sharing position with Saville Davis)
1969-1975 Dorothy Nepper Marshall
1975-1982 Edmund L. King
1982- Rudolfo Cardona
Corresponding Secretaries
1910-1913 Amy Rowland
1913-1914 Fay Howard
1914-1916 Mabel Haywood
1916-1917 ?
1917-1944 Susan Huntington Vernon
1944-1963 Mary Stedman Sweeney
1964-1968 duties performed by the Liaison Committee consisting of: Isabel Conant, Phyllis Turnbull, and Charity Willard
1968-1980 Carmen de Zulueta Greenebaum
1980- Alica Pollin
1877-1903 Alice Gordon Gulick
1903-1907 Elizabeth Gulick
1907-1910 Bertha C. Bidwell
1910-1918 Susan D. Huntington
1916-1918 Anna F. Thompson (Acting)
*1918-1919 Caroline Borden

* dates for academic year ending in June

1919-1920 Louisa F. Cheever
1920-1922 Mary Louise Foster
1922-1923 Edith Fahnestock
1923-1924 May Gardner
1924-1925 Alice H. Bushee
1925-1927 Helen Phipps
1927-1928 Louise Sweeney
1928-1929 Mary Sweeney
1929-1931 Louise Sweeney
1931-1934 Mary Sweeney
1934-1935 Louise Sweeney
1935-1936 Nellis McBroom de Roca
1939-1949 Mary Sweeney (Institute activities curtailed by war)
1940-1949 Enriqueta Martin (semi-official representative of Corp.)
1949-1950 Edith Helman
1950-1951 Lois Post
1951-1954 Jean Bratton
1954-1955 Frances Burlingame
1955-1958 Phyllis Turnbull
1958-1961 Joan Connelly
1961-1962 Carol Roehm
1962-1963 Joan Appel
1963-1964 Miriam Holsen
1964-1978 Ilene Avery
1978-1979 Joan Connelly Ullman
1979-1980 Valerie Shaw Herr
1980-1982 Richard Predmore
1982-1983 Edmund B. King
1983-1984 Richard Predmore
1984- Hugh Harter
1915-1960 James S. Allen
1960-1973 Castle ("Bud") Reed
1971-1972 Donald Wilkinson, Jr. (during illness of Reed)
1973-1980 Demetrio Delgado de Torres
1980-1983 Philip Van Slyck
1983-1984 Edmund L. King
1984- Paul Saurel
1912-1915 James S. Allen
1915-1919 Cornelia Warren
1919-1923 Ellor C. Ripley
1923-1930 Edward Gulick
1930-1961 Katherine T. Reed
1961-1966 Marion Ament
1966-1971 Hope Goodale
1971-1975 Teresa Gilman
1975-1978 Erna B. Kelley
1979-1982 Angela Giral
1982- Ellen Friedman
Boston Secretary (Executive Secretary Office Secretary)
? Elizabeth Brown
c. 1922- c. 1939 Ella D. (Leave) Baker
c. 1940- c. 1950 Nora Sweeney
c. 1963 Constance Mazlich, c. 1963
c. 1964 Lois Randall, c. 1964
? Isabel O'Brien
Scope and Contents of the Collection

The records of the International Institute for Girls in Spain consist of 24 linear feet of correspondence, memorabilia, minutes, reports, photographs, publications, and other papers (in English and Spanish) relating to the history and activities of the IIGS and its cooperation with other educational organizations in Spain and the U.S. The records are a rich source for the study of educational reform and women's education in Spain, Spanish-U.S. cooperation, and the experience of Protestant missionaries in Catholic Spain.

In the early 1970s the Corporation assigned the task of organizing the bulk of the records to retired IIGS librarian Enriqueta Martin. Left unfinished, Miss Martin's arrangement was disordered when the records were moved in the late 1970s. Her work survives in two forms: an annotated card file (Series VII - Lists) and notes attached to individual items within the records. These notes (in Spanish) describe, comment on, or refute the contents of each item and have been left in place as part of the record.

The bulk of the material consists of files maintained in this country in the Boston office of the Corporation and by long-time Corresponding Secretary Mary Sweeney. Evidence contained in the records indicates that most of the early records produced and maintained in Spain were lost or destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. However, records kept in this country such as reports and published correspondence by founders Alice Gordon Gulick and William Hooker Gulick, and early directors such as Susan Huntington give insight into the early activities and progress of the school. The work of the Institute is best documented starting in 1950 due to the extensive records kept by Corresponding Secretary Mary Sweeney.

Surviving records produced and maintained in Spain consist of correspondence files of the director (Series II), library records (Series VI), personnel files (Series IX), photographs (Series X), memorabilia (Series IV), and student papers (Series XIV). These records are most complete for the period between 1950 and the late 1970s.

The records are divided into fifteen series: Academic Programs; Correspondence; Financial; Historical Materials and Memorabilia; Legal; Library; Lists; Minutes, Agendas, and Calls to Meetings; Personnel; Photographs; Publications; Reports; Speeches; Student Papers; and Affiliated Organizations and Programs.

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

The records are open for research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the documents must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Smith College owns copyright to any published material relating to college events and activities. Provenance and copyright ownership of other materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

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

International Institute for Girls in Spain Records, Box#, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

The International Institute For Girls in Spain Records were a gift to the Smith College Archives from the IIGS Corporation. The records arrived in 3 shipments in 1980, 1984, and 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Maida Goodwin.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886


English and Spanish