Sharon Female Seminary, established in 1837 by Hicksite Quakers John and Rachel Jackson at their residence in Darby, later Sharon Hill, PA, provided a curriculum that combined teacher training and a liberal arts education with an increasing emphasis on natural philosophy, chemistry, astronomy, and other sciences. This broadside illustrates the resources devoted to the sciences by this and a growing number of other institutions during this period.
A popular enthusiasm for science that emerged in America in the nineteenth century manifested itself not only in curricula of schools like Sharon Female Seminary but also in books about science directed specifically at women. Scientific articles began appearing in general women's magazines, and an increasing number of women attended public scientific lectures. Once engaged, some women—more than are generally recognized—went on to pursue science on their own. By 1860, the foundations were securely planted for women's involvement in America's scientific enterprise.
In the exhibition
Sharon Female Seminary, Borough of Darby, in Delaware County, [Pennsylvania]. Broadside advertisement, facsimile and enlargement, 1855.
All items in this exhibition are from the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection, Rubenstein Library, unless otherwise noted.
On display in the Michael and Karen Stone Family Gallery
January 20 – May 20, 2016
Rubenstein Library, Duke University
Durham, North Carolina