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Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy photograph album

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SP093

Scope and Contents

This collection includes loose leaf black-and-white photograph from a photograph album concerning Saint Mary's Academy in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana circa 1900, including views of the grounds of the school, with interior views of some buildings, as well as sites like the railroad station, shrines, and the grotto, on the campus.


  • circa 1900-1910

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Administrative History

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence established Saint Mary's Academy, commonly known as "the Academy," in 1841 to educate young women. Mother Guerin and 5 Sisters of Providence left their convent in Ruillé-sur-Loir, France and traveled 3 months before settling on the woods northwest of Terre Haute, Indiana on October 22, 1840. The academy was granted its first charter for the higher education of women in Indiana in 1846 with the formal name as Saint Mary’s Female Institute. In the 1850s, Sister Mary Cecilia (Eleanor Bailly), a local woman who entered the Sisters of Providence and taught English and music at the Academy, became director of the school when its previous head, Sister Basilide Seneschal, was sent to Madison, Indiana. Sister Mary Cecilia succeeded Mother Guerin as mother superior of the Sisters of Providence after the latter's death in 1856. Under her leadership it was decided in 1860 to expand the Academy to accommodate more students. The Academy the first bachelor of arts in 1899 and was the first women's college to offer journalism courses and to offer degrees in secondary eduction, home economics, and secretarial science. In 1928, the Academy was incorporated as Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. The school continued to expand its majors, including business, computer information systems, equine studies, psychology and nursing. In 2015, the college's board of trustees voted for the institution to become coeducational on May 1, 2015.


Items in the colleciton.

Saint Mary's-on-the-Woods College. "Our History." Saint Mary's-on-the-Woods College. Accessed October 28, 2021.

Sisters of Providence on Saint Mary's-on-the-Woods. "Saint Mother Theodore Guerin’s Story." Sisters of Providence on Saint Mary's-on-the-Woods. Accessed October 28, 2021. Beel, Paul. "The Life of Eleanor Bailly (Mother Mary Cecilia Bailly)." Sisters of Providence on Saint Mary's-on-the-Woods, April 20, 2018. Accessed October 28, 2021.


0.05 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/10/28 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2021/10/28 by Brittany Kropf.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Academy photograph album
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.