Ascham School, Sydney

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Ascham School, Sydney

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name


  • Educational

Contact area


Marguerite Gillezeau



Street address

188 New South Head Road, Edgecliff




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code



02 8356 7049




Description area


Ascham School is a non-denominational girls' day and boarding school established in Marathon Avenue, Darling Point by Miss Marie Wallis in 1886. The School moved to its current site in 1909. The school teaches students from preschool to year 12.

For an illustrated outline of key events in Ascham’s history from 1886, see

The Archive was established in 1992.

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies


The archives office and part of the collection are housed in The Octagon, a Georgian watchtower built in 1832 and the oldest building in Darling Point. The Octagon also has a small teaching museum on the second floor. The Octagon, along with the rest of the school buildings, stands on land that formed part of the original Glenrock estate first settled by the Smith family in the early 1830s.


The archival collection holds the following format-based collections drawn from both the official records of the school and donations received from the school community:

  • Paper records, including: School admission register, 1902- present; Headmistress’ annual reports, 1915- present (digitised); Council minutes from Ascham’s incorporation in 1937; Prize lists dating, 1900- present (digitised); Papers of the Old Girls’ Union, 1915- present.
  • Publications, including: Charivari, the school magazine, 1903- present (digitised); Ascham Old Girls’ Magazine (formerly Newsheet), 1943- present (digitised); weekly newsletters and student newspapers.
  • Photographic collection, 1895- present (in the process of being digitised, as at 2018).
  • Book collection, including: a fine collection of early edition Victorian novels; Miss Margaret Bailey’s personal library; prize books, 1887- present; books about Ascham and its alumni.
  • Uniform collection, 1920s- present, with reproductions of the first uniform introduced in 1895.
  • Memorabilia and museum artefacts, 1800s- present.
  • Cartographic collection, including building plans, 1800s- present.
  • Audiovisual collection, including film, sound, video and digital recordings.

Finding aids, guides and publications

Finding aids are currently not available to researchers.
Publications about the school's history include:

  • Ascham: 1886-1952
  • Ascham: 1886-1962 (revised version), Monica Flower
  • Ascham Remembered, Annette Fielding Jones Dupree, Betty Winn Ferguson, Caroline Fairfax Simpson, 1986
  • The Search for Marie Wallis, Gerri Nicholas, 1st ed, 2007; 2nd ed, 2012
  • Margaret Bailey, Pioneering Headmistress of Ascham School, Jane Gilmour, 2016

Access area

Opening times

Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9am-4pm, by appointment.

Access conditions and requirements

Please make appointment by email or phone prior to visiting the archives.


Services area

Research services

Available. Researchers intending to publish must contact the Head of School in writing.

Reproduction services

Public areas

A small reading room exists for long-term researchers upstairs in the Octagon, subject to hours of opening.

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 29 March 2018




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Education (Thematic area)
  • Genealogical (Thematic area)
  • Local Studies (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

188 New South Head Road, Edgecliff
Sydney, New South Wales 2027