PamphletWomen's Educational Movement. Bradford Female Academy Catalog 1886. A catalog from one of the most important historical female academics. Contains names of current students and an outline of the curriculum. Bradford opened as the first coeducational institution in Massachusetts, but due to overwhelming interest from parents of girls with no other options for education, Bradford soon transitioned to become the first all-female academy in Massachusetts , and among the first in the United States in 1836. At the time that this description is being written, no copies are recorded in American institutions. OCLC search results are at best an estimate and can vary over time.
Women's colleges proliferated in the mid- to late- 19th century to fill the void created by their exclusion from most institutions of higher education. The prevailing notion that women were too delicate for a rigorous academic education was openly challenged when Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke at the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, "Man's intellectual superiority cannot be a question until woman has had a fair trial…When we shall have had our colleges, our professions, our trades, for a century, a comparison then may be justly instituted." Young women were quick to step up to the challenge; as quickly as female colleges opened, they filled up.
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