Table of Contents
Friends Academy was originally established in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1810 by a group of Friends and incorporated by an act of the General Court of Massachusetts in 1812. It originally began for the children of Friends as a school for promoting a high standard of education, good discipline and strong moral development. Friends maintained exclusive control of the Academy until 1855, when trustees no longer had to be members of the Society. Services of the Academy were interrupted between 1820-1827, when it was closed due to lack of students. During that time, a group of teachers independent of the board of the Academy used the building to run a school. From 1844-1846, the Academy was open to girls only. In 1855, a new building was planned with separate schools for male and female students; this policy of segregating pupils according to sex remained in existence until 1869. By then, most religious overtones of the Academy had disappeared and the school became a more secular institution emphasizing a high standard of education. Friends Academy continued to flourish and moved to its present location in North Dartmouth, Mass., in 1949.
Records in this collection reflect the administrative and educational activities of the Friends Academy from 1810-1980. The administrative records consist of minutes of trustees meetings, 1812-1929, which also include the charter and by-laws of the Academy; committee reports of the trustees, 1827-1845; and legal documents, 1810-1859, such as the original subscription for the school and a bill of sale for land for an additon to the Academy. The minutes and committee report also discuss "selection" of books for the library, emphasizing titles not to be included in the collection. Financial records in the collection incllude treasurer's records, 1813-1839, and bills and receipts, 1832-1853. Registration records list students enrolled and names of faculty members for each year from 1826-1980. Teachers' records consist of lecture notes and lesson plans, ca. 1890-1924, which, after 1912, include plans for classes featuring the Montessori method of education. There are also attendance and grade records for 1829-1924. Students' records include exam grades and weekly reports, 1834-1898, and student notebooks, 1829-1898. Correspondence in this collection dating from 1817-1847, includes recommendations for teachers and resignations of teachers and trustees. Also encompassed by these materials are catalogs and historical sketches of the Academy, 1859- 1940, and programs, rules, and a teacher schedule book, 1817-1924.
Researchers may also be interested in the book Friends Academy, 2010 in the library collection.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 32 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Removed to Photographs Collection
- Photographs of Friends Academy, 1810, 1856. 2 items.
Removed to Printed Collection
- Arrowsmith, Robert and Whicher, George M. First Latin Readings, 1894.
- Bonnycastle, John. An Introduction to Algebra With Notes and Observations . . .,with revisions by James Ryan, 1827.
- Brown, Goold. The Institute of English Grammar, 1857.
- The Children's History of the Society of Friends; chiefly compiled from Sewall's history, 1864.
- Colburn, Warren. Colburn's First Lessons. Intellectual Arithmetic Upon the Inductive Method of Instruction, 1849.
- De Stael, Madame. De L'Allemagne, 1872.
- Emerson, Frederick. Emersons Third Part. The North American Arithmetic . . . , 1841.
- Emerson Frederick. Key to the North American Arithmetic, Part Second and Part Third . . ., 1841.
- Friends Academy Catalogue, April 1859.
- Friends Academy Catalogue, July 1875.
- Friends Academy, New Bedford, Mass., 1810-1936, 1936. 3 copies.
- Gartland, Emma L. New Bedford's Story for New Bedford's Childrenca. 1930.
- Hale, B.E. Familiar Conversations Upon the Constitution of the United States . . ., 1835.
- Historical Sketch of Friends Academy prepared for the Centennial Year . . ., 1876. 3 copies.
- Jones, Dr. Thomas P. Conversations on Natural Philosophy in . . ., 1826.
- Little Truths Better than Great Fables: Containing Information . . ., 1831.
- Mitchell, S. Augustus. Mitchell's Primary Geography. An Easy Introduction to the Study of Geography:. . ., 1851.
- The Most Modern and Approved Forms of Letters of Business. . ., 18??.
- Murray, Lindley, The English Reader: or Pieces in Prose and Poetry. . ., 1833.
- Pollock, Robert. The Course of Time, a Poem. . ., 1829.
- Walker, T. Elements of Geometry, with Practical Applications. . ., 1829.
Removed to Objects Collection
- Advertising card for Pierce, Lewis & Co., n.d.
Records in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society on 11 November 1981. The trustee records and student records had been on loan from the Academy since 28 October 1980.
Processed by: Judith Downey, with assistance from Mrs. Philip Dechert, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 21 March 2011
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Account books--North Dartmouth, Mass.--1813-1925
Authors--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Bartlett, Lydia Stanton, 1838-1910
Curriculum planning--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Education of children
Education, Elementary--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Education, Primary--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Education, Secondary--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Education--Mass. --North Dartmouth
Friends Academy Records
Friends Academy, New Bedford, Mass. SEE Friends Academy, North Dartmouth, Mass.
Friends Academy, North Dartmouth, Mass.--Curricula
Friends, Society of--Mass.--North Dartmouth--Education
Grading and marking (Students)
Lesson planning--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Montessori method of education
Private school trustees--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Private schools--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Private schools--Mass.--North Dartmouth--Business management
Schedules, School--Mass.--North Dartmouth
School administrators--Mass.--North Dartmouth
School attendance--Mass.--North Dartmouth
School facilities--Planning--Mass.--North Dartmouth
School libraries--Mass.--North Dartmouth--Book selection
School reports--Mass.--North Dartmouth
School superintendents and principals--Mass.--North Dartmouth
Schools--Mass.--North Dartmouth--Records and correspondence
Teachers--Mass.--North Dartmouth--Selection and appointment
- Discovery Center