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Northwestern University Library
Northwestern University Library

Guide to the Records of the Northwestern Female College 1855/1976

Overview of the Collection


Records of the Northwestern Female College




North-Western Female College




Northwestern University Archives

Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354


The Records of the Northwestern Female College date from 1855 to 1976 and comprise one linear foot of historical materials, minutes, correspondence, financial documents, and publications.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

North-Western Female College

Topical Term:

Women college students--Illinois--Evanston

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Uncertain. The Records of the Northwestern Female College appear to combine a number of individual donations, including those of Lydia Jones Trowbridge.

Processing Information

Rae Sikula Bielakowski; September 2003.

Reformatted by Rachel C. Teuer. July 22, 2004.

Separated Materials


Conditions Governing Access


Related Materials

William P. Jones (1831-1886) Papers, 1857-1932 (Series 36/1)

Records of the Women's Educational Aid Association, 1871-2000 (Series 55/38)

Records of the Evanston College for Ladies, 1869-1933 (Series 39/1)

Records of the Woman's College of Northwestern University, 1872-1893 (Series 40/1)

Frances E. Willard Papers (Series 40/2)

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Northwestern Female College date from 1855 to 1976 and comprise one linear foot of historical materials, minutes, correspondence, financial documents, and publications. Over half of the records date between 1855 and 1873.

Dating from 1860 until 1976, the histories comprise published and unpublished historical sketches of the Northwestern Female College, a few authored by William Jones' daughter Lydia Jones Trowbridge. One folder of reminiscences and biographies (1861-1935), containing some undated material, includes alumni recollections of the College, its faculty, and fellow students; as well as J. Wesley Jones' account of the College's founding and Trowbridge's biographical sketches of her father (College founder and president William P. Jones) and mother (College Principal Mary Hayes Jones). Also noteworthy are Frances E. Willard's handwritten “Biographical Sketch of the Alumnae of the N.W. Female College” (1861) and an undated scrapbook page showing pictures and signatures of Frances and Mary Willard.

The charter and minutes of the Board of Trustees document trustees' meetings from 1857 until 1871.

The bulk of the general correspondence spans the years 1914 to 1967 and pertains mainly to donations of Female College documents to Northwestern's library; and to inquiries fielded by the library concerning the College's history and alumnae. However, one general correspondence folder (1857-1862, n.d.) contains two incoming letters to William P. Jones; a letter by Luella Clark, a College teacher; and an undated letter to Rev. John Dempster. An additional folder of correspondence, dating from 1883 to 1933, concerns Northwestern University's incorporation of Female College alumnae into its alumni records.

Spanning from 1868 to 1908, the sparse financial documents consist mainly of tuition receipts and blank perpetual scholarship bonds (sold for $50 and guaranteeing the purchaser's descendants free tuition at the College). Materials do not include a record of College income and expenditures. The Luella Clark scholarship materials (1942-1947) concern a bequest to Northwestern University in the name of Luella Clark, a teacher at the Female College.

Chronologically arranged, the catalogs of the Northwestern Female College span the years 1855 to 1871 and include rosters of students, trustees, and faculty, as well as information regarding coursework and policies. Circulars date from 1855 to 1870 and describe the College's philosophy, facilities, tuition, and boarding expenses. An issue of the Female College publication entitled "Casket and Budget" dates from 1858.

The events and activities file contains commencement programs, Minerva Society announcements, and alumni event announcements, chronologically arranged from 1856 to 1871.

One folder of duplicates comprises extra copies of College catalogs.


Box 1

Folder 1



Box 1

Folder 2

Reminiscences and biographies


Box 1

Folder 3

Charter (copy) and Minutes of the Board of Trustees


Box 1

Folder 4

General Correspondence

1857-1862, n.d.

Box 1

Folder 5

General Correspondence


Box 1

Folder 6

Correspondence: Alumni records


Box 1

Folder 7

Financial documents

1868-1908, n.d.

Box 1

Folder 8

Luella Clark scholarship

1942-1947, n.d.

Box 1

Folder 9



Box 1

Folder 10



Box 1

Folder 11



Box 1

Folder 12

"Casket and Budget" [newspaper]


Box 1

Folder 13

Events and Activities

1856-1871, n.d.

Box 1

Folder 14