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Mount Vernon Seminary and College Learning Resource Center/Eckles Library Collection

Identifier: MVC0030-RG

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials related to the construction of Eckles Library at Mount Vernon College, materials regarding the library belonging to library director Lucy Coke, materials from the Library Resource Center, and photographs of the library during and after construction. The material dates from 1963-1988.


  • 1963-1988

Conditions Governing Access

Some material in Series 3 of this collection is restricted. See Special Collections staff for assistance. Special Collections staff will work with GW Counsel's office to determine access.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Eckles Library was constructed between 1986 and 1987. Funding for the library was initiated by a bequest from Charles Eckles to Mount Vernon College. The library was dedicated on September 18, 1987.

The Mount Vernon Seminary began in 1875 as a private high school and junior college for women, founded by Elizabeth J. Somers. The George Washington University initially affiliated with Mount Vernon College, and ultimately acquired the college's property and legacy in 1999.

The first school of higher education available to women in Washington, D.C., Mount Vernon Seminary and College had five different locations throughout its history:

1875-1880: Elizabeth Somers began tutoring the young daughters of prominent Washington men in her home at 204 F Street, NW in Washington, DC.

1880-1917: The school moved to 1100 M Street, NW where it expanded rapidly to include three additional houses, a courtyard, tennis court, and basketball court.

1917-1942: Having outgrown its M Street location, the school moved to a 15-acre campus on Nebraska Avenue, NW. In 1942, the United States Navy took over the Nebraska Avenue campus to use its facilities for the war effort.

1943-1946: The school resumed courses in February 1943 at the top floor of a Garfinckel’s department store building in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Washington, D.C.

1946-1999: Between 1944 and 1946, the school built a new 21-acre campus located on Foxhall Road in Washington, D.C. using money granted to the college by the United States Navy in compensation for the military takeover of its property.

The last Seminary class graduated in 1969, and the school was then officially renamed to Mount Vernon Junior College. In 1976, Mount Vernon College became an accredited four year college. In 1997, the Board of Trustees decided that the College would close as an independent institution. As of June 30, 1999, Mount Vernon became affiliated with The George Washington University.


8 Linear Feet (16 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The Mount Vernon Seminary was officially established by Elizabeth Somers in 1875 and a two year junior college was added in 1927. The Junior College remained open until 1969, when Mount Vernon College became a four-year unversity. The university was an independent institution until 1999, when it became affilated with The George Washington University.

This collection includes files related to the Library Resource Center at Mount Vernon College as well as materials related to the planning and construction of Eckles Library, which was built between 1986 and 1987.


Arranged into four series: Library Director Lucy Cocke's files, Learning Resource Center files, Library studies, plans, and contracts, and Photographs.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site, and may require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection acquired by GWU upon merger with Mount Vernon College. Collection transferred to Foggy Bottom campus in 2009.

Guide to the Mount Vernon Seminary and College Learning Resource Center/Eckles Library Collection, 1963-1988
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America