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Aimwell School records

Identifier: HC.MC-1183

Scope and Contents

The Aimwell School Records (1796-1935) consist primarily of minute book records and various documents related to the operation and administration of the Aimwell School. There are 13 volumes of minute books, including extracts and drafts of minutes, 1797-1935. Financial information includes 11 volumes of treasurer's accounts, 1797-1895, including an account of the cost of building a new school house in 1825 and documents regarding bequests and donations. There are several legal documents, 1886-1919 and 1935, including mortgages, bonds, deeds, and insurance contracts. There are records of the general operation of the school, 1796-1920, including regulations, a school constitution, articles of association, typed histories, catalogues, an account of the library, and a log of all enrolled students. Also included in this collection are some miscellaneous materials, namely, a series of photographs related to the school as well as several keys to the Aimwell School buildings and the original box for these records.


  • 1796-1935


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research use.

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Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Law Applies (U.S. Title 17).

Historical Note

The Aimwell School was founded in 1796 by Anne Parrish (1760-1800) and was run originally out of Parrish's own home on North 2nd Street in Philadelphia as an educational opportunity for poor girls. The school's mission was to provide a "proper" education to young girls while charging no more than a small regular fee for the usage of books. No tuition was charged and the school ran entirely on donations. Parrish and her coworkers worked towards the same mission, forming together as the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children, under the management of the Society of Friends. As the institution grew, it moved to four different locations before settling in the Friends' Meeting House at 6th & Noble Streets in Philadelphia in 1889, where it stayed until 1914. In 1915, the school reopened at 865-69 N. Randolph Street in Philadelphia and emphasized the fundamental goals of spiritual, mental, moral, and physical education for their students.

In 1859, the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children was incorporated and the name was then changed to the Aimwell School Association. The school was open until 1923; the corporation dissolved in 1935. The funds were transferred to a Friends fiduciary group.

There were several principal contributors to the Aimwell School, namely: Anne Parrish, Sarah Richie, Sarah Bacon, and Margaret Warder, who were some of the first members of the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children. Catharine Morris was also an early member to the Society and provided significant financial support for the institution. Mary Wheeler served as the first treasurer, and Mary M. Leeds later served as treasurer as well for an extensive period of time.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)




The Aimwell School in Philadelphia was founded in 1796 by Anne Parrish (1760-1800) for the purpose of providing "a good English education" in the "primary and grammar grades" for poor girls. It was instituted by the Society for the Free Instruction of Female Children and operated under the management of the Society of Friends.


Materials within the collection are organized chronologically within each series.



Processing Information

Processed by Grace Thiele; completed July, 2014.

Aimwell School records, 1796-1935
Grace Thiele
July, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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