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Entries / Women’s Institutes (Entry)

Women’s Institutes (Entry)

Categories / Science. Education/Educational Institutions

WOMEN’S INSTITUTES were boarding schools of intermediate education. They were under the oversight of the Department of Empress Maria's Establishments in 1796-1917. The Smolny Institute with a department for 60 girls from the petty bourgeoisie was established in 1764. The institute was opened in 1765 and called the Alexandrovsky College in 1842. The college became independent in 1865 and in 1891 was renamed Alexandrovsky Institute. Later, the following women’s institutes were established: 1798 - the Institute of the Order of St. Catherine (36 Fontanka Embankment), 1800 - Mariinsky Institute (52 Kirochnaya Street), 1827 - the Patriotic Institute (3 Tenth Line of Vasilievsky Island), 1829 - Pavlovsky Institute (8 Znamenskaya Street, now Vosstaniya Street), 1837 - Nikolaevsky Institute (Orphans' Institute; 48 Moika River Embankment), 1892 - Elizavetinsky Institute (and College from 1808; 36 Bolshoy Avenue of Vasilievsky Island), 1895 - Xeniinsky Institute (4 Blagoveshchenskaya Square, now Truda Square), 1910 - the Institute of St. Elena (a college from 1820; 29 Tserkovnaya Street, now Blokhina Street). In addition to these the Women’s Institute of Princess Therese Oldenburgskaya, which maintained boarding school facilities in addition to a normal school, was established out of the Department of Institutions of Empress Maria in 1841. It was located at 36 Kamennoostrovsky Avenue. All these girls’ and women’s institutions were divided into three classes according to the Regulations of 1855. Women’s institutions of the first and the second class accepted mainly the daughters of the nobility – while the government offered some scholarships to cover the costs of education. Women’s institutes of the third type accepted students of all other ‘free’ classes – those who were not serfs. From the 1860s, limitations remained only for the admission to the four privileged female institutes: the Smolny Institute, the Institute of St. Catherine, the Patriotic Institute and the Nikolaevsky Institute. All children irrespective of class could be admitted into any other institution. Pupils and students could either pay for their education or attempt to receive a government-sponsored scholarship. Initially, the curriculum at the institutes lasted for six years. In 1863, it was prolonged to seven years. Girls from the age of eight to ten years old were accepted to female institutes. The curriculum of 1874 included Divine Law, Russian, French, and German, history, geography, natural sciences, mathematics and drawing. Much attention was paid to artistic education and needlework. From 1905, the education was based on the curriculum similar to that of the girls’ gymnasia. Classes of governesses were opened in 1803 with the purpose of help for school-dames and teachers in elementary groups. Additional pedagogical classes were opened from 1848. They became two-year courses in 1863. In 1906, there were 3528 students in ten institutes of the Department of Empress Maria's Establishments in St. Petersburg, including 2986 children from the nobility. All girls’ and women’s institutes were abolished in 1917-18.

References: Учебные заведения Ведомства учреждений имп. Марии: Крат. очерк. СПб., 1906.

Е. М. Balashov.

Oldenburgskaya Therese Wilhelmine Friederike Isabelle Charlotte, Princess

10th Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 3
Blokhina St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 29
Bolshoy Ave of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 36
Fontanka River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 36
Kamennoostrovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 36
Kirochnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 52
Moika River Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 48
Truda Square/Saint Petersburg, city, house 4
Vosstaniya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 8

Учебные заведения Ведомства учреждений имп. Марии: Крат. очерк. СПб., 1906

The subject Index
Empress Maria's Department of Institutions
Smolny Institute