Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens. Last graduates of 1917.
"Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens – the first female institution in Russia, which marked the beginning of women’s education in the country. The Institute was founded on the initiative of Ivan Betsky, and in accordance with a decree signed by Catherine II on May 5 (April 24) 1764. The credo of the school was “to give the state well-educated women, good mothers, contributing members of the family and society”."
"To enter the institute could only daughters of the nobles, whose ancestors were listed in the III, V and VI volumes of the book of noble families … . However, few of the nobles were willing to condemn their daughters to study continuously for 12 years, after which a hard question arose about the future marriage of over- educated girl."