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Litchfield Female Academy collection


Identifier: 1890-07-2

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the history of The Litchfield Female Academy, Litchfield, Connecticut. Early records refer to the Academy as Miss Pierce's School, Miss Pierce's Academy, and Sarah Pierce's Academy. In the collection are institutional records; correspondence, diaries, journals, school notebooks, and albums of students; papers of Sarah Pierce and the Pierce family; and correspondence of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel regarding her research for her books "Chronicles of a Pioneer School, from 1792 to 1833" , published in 1903 and "More Chronicles of a Pioneer School" published in 1927. Included in the institutional records are works written by Sarah Pierce and her nephew, John Pierce Brace.


  • created: 1787-1927
  • Other: Date acquired: 01/01/1890


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.


11.67 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged in 4 series: Series 1. Litchfield Female Academy Institutional Records Series 2. Student Paper, Records, and Documents Series 3. Pierce Family Papers Series 4. Emily Noyes Vanderpoel Papers

This collection has been assembled from 3 collections: Litchfield Female Academy, Sarah Pierce, and Emily Noyes Vanderpoel. These collections had been assembled, re-assembled, and intermingled over many years with additions from many donors [see Acquisition Information -Accruals/Additions].

Source of Acquisition

Gray, Jane (Loring), Mrs. Asa

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

Gifts from Charles Mansfield (1890); Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel (1900); Dwight C. Kilbourn (1900); Miss Lewis (1911); Edgar Van Winkle (1913); Mrs. Morris Seymour (1914); Mrs. Edward Seymour (1916); Dr. John Buel (1916; Cornelia Rankin (1920); Lucy Brace Sadikoff (1920); Gertrude E. Welch (1920); Kate E. Westbrook (1928); Marcus Reynolds (1933); M.T. Reynolds (1935); Mrs. VanWinkle (1943); Jane G. Cooke(1947); Elizabeth M. Hall (1950); Mrs. James Woodruff (1953); Dorothy Johnson (1954); Mrs. Floyd Vanderpoel (1954); D. H. Hill, Jr. Library at North Carolina State University (1964); Eaton Jone estate (1971); William Warren (1973); Mrs. Richard Brickley (1981); Museum purchase (1982); Mr. and Mrs. C. Minor Barringer (1993); Doris Townsend (1998); Chris Sinacola (2000); Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Bramley (2005); Charles Stookey (2006).

Existence and Location of Originals

Transcriptions are available for some documents.

Related Materials

Benjamin Tallmadge Collection, Pierce Family Correspondence, Reeve Collection, Wolcott Family Collection, Elihu Harrison Business Papers, Grant Papers.

Related Publications

The following publications at the Litchfield Historical Society provide additional information about the Litchfield Female Academy: Books compiled by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel 1- Chronicles of a Pioneer School, from 1792 to 1833; being the history of Miss Sarah Pierce and her Litchfield School. Cambridge, MA, University Press, 1903. 2 - More Chronicles of a Pioneer School, from 1792 to 1833; being added history on the Litchfeild Female Academy kept by Miss Sarah Pierce and her nephew, John Pierce Brace. New York, Cadmus Book Shop, 1927.

Books in the Library Collection of the Litchfield Historical Society include works by Sarah Pierce - "Universal History" (1811-1823); John Pierce Brace; and textbooks used at the Academy.

A catalogue written by Theodore and Nancy Sizer, Sally Schwager, Lynne Templeton Brickley, and Glee Krueger. Edited by Catherine Keene Fields and Lisa C. Kightlinger. - "To Ornament Their Minds: Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy 1792-1833". Litchfield Historical Society, 1993.

A thesis by Lynne Templeton Brickley - Sarah Pierce's Litchfield Female Academy, 1792-1833. A thesis presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Education of Harvard University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education, 1985.

Separated Materials

Catalogues for 1824, 1825, 1826 & 1830 are housed in an oversize box. Daguerreotypes and photographs of portraits of Sarah Pierce, Mary Pierce, John Brace Pierce and other Pierce family members are shelved in separate boxes. Framed documents housed in Curatorial Center.

Other Descriptive Information

Material objects related to the Litchfield Female Academy include needlework, watercolors, watchpapers, maps, items belonging to Sarah Pierce, etc. Contact the Museum Curator for further information.

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Processing Information

This collection consisted of three primary collections: The Litchfield Female Academy: Sarah Pierce; and Emily Noyes Vanderpoel. Over the course of time, these collections had been mingled and rearranged so that it was not possible to distinguish the original location or source of many of the materials. Other documents were filed in Miscellaneous Manuscripts.

Litchfield Female Academy collection
Lee S. Cook
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)