Founded as a women's college by Frederick Barnard--a president of Columbia
College and a champion for women's rights--Barnard College was established
as a liberal arts college for women. It was meant to offer a
post-secondary education to the women of New York for whom, as late as the
1870s, higher education had been inaccessible.|
Occupying only a brownstone on Madison Avenue in its early years, Barnard lacked both land and financial resources. The college moved to its present site, across Broadway from Columbia College, after an extensive fundraising campaign provided the school with a sizable endowment. Whereas its first female students lived at home and were taught by Columbia instructors, today Barnard has its own dormitories and academic staff.