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Colonial School for Girls Collection

Identifier: 178

Scope and Contents

The collection contains three scrapbooks for the academic years 1921-1922, 1922-1923, and 1924-1925. Each holds a variety of materials including dress requirements, flyers for art performances, and general promotional flyers for D.C. arts events, newspaper clippings, charts, menus, and event invitations. Additionally, materials include both hand-written, typed notes, and excerpts from school diaries. According to the title page, the scope of the materials focuses on “Washington, its people, activities, buildings, monuments, etc.” Note: the scrapbook for the 1923-1924 school year is missing.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1925


Conditions Governing Use

Collection has no known restrictions.

Biographical / Historical

The official date of the establishment of the Colonial School for Girls in Washington DC is not known. Resources indicate the school was operating in the DC area from approximately 1909 until 1930. During this period, the school had three locations. In 1909, the school merged with Cloverside School of Montclair, New Jersey, and was located at 2139 R Street NW Washington, D.C. From 1910 to 1914, the school was located at 1715 Connecticut Avenue NW, and 1725-29 Connecticut Avenue NW. From 1914 to 1930, it was located at 1539 18th Street NW, on the southeast corner of 18th and Q Streets, in the Schneider mansion.

Thomas Franklin Schneider, a prolific Washington, DC architect and developer, known for designing and building entire blocks of townhouses at once, designed and built this structure in 1891. He lived there with his family for two years, until 1893. After a few short rentals (including the Chinese legation, and Senator John Fairfield Dryden of New Jersey) the building became the home of the Colonial School from 1914 to 1930. Miss Charlotte Crittenden Everett served as principal and co-principal with Miss Elizabeth Timlow, and later Miss Jessie Truman during this time.

The Colonial School for Girls was a private school, and offered classes at the high school and college preparatory levels. Operating both as a day and boarding school, it combined college preparatory classes and finishing school seminars. Additionally, it offered training in small class-size environments, employing both female and male teachers. From a 1909 advertisement in the American Review of Reviews, the school “affords unequalled opportunities for social and mental culture. The home-life of the school develops poise of mind and body.”

The scrapbook materials capture and reveal the rich academic, social, and cultural life “the girls” received throughout the school year. Students listened to evening lectures on such subjects as Moorish art and architecture, the Panama Canal tolls controversy, and The Effect of War on Womanhood by Jane Addams, for example. To further enrich and broaden their cultural education, students regularly visited local galleries, and theatres.

In 1920, Principal Everett was joined by co-principal Jessie Truman, and the school continued to operate in the Schneider mansion until 1930, when the house was converted into a boarding house.


1 Linear feet

3 Boxes

Language of Materials



Series I: Scrapbooks, 3 (1921-1924)
This series contains flyers for concerts, performances, and special events held in Washington, DC and other local venues. This series also contains calendars, catering advertisements and menus, and additional promotional materials.

Custodial History

There is no Deed of Gift for this collection and it is uncertain how or when the Library acquired it.

Processing Information

Basic archival procedures were applied to the materials at the time of processing that included the interleaving of fresh acid-free papers in all scrapbooks.

Colonial School for Girls Collection
An inventory of Colonial School for Girls Collection at the DC Public Library
Biljana Milenkovic
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001