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Finding aid prepared by MMF, January 1972; AMT, 1972; JAV, July 2005; HW, 2010
© 2010 University of Chicago Library
Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Records
7.25 linear feet (15 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center
The Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy was established in 1908. Growing out of the settlement house movement, it sought to combine social work education with actual social work. Faculty and students were involved with juvenile delinquency, truancy, vocational training, and housing. In 1920 it merged with the University of Chicago's Philanthropic Division to become the School of Social Service Administration. This collection contains correspondence, course descriptions, finances, reports, and student files. It spans 1903-1922, encompassing some program records from the School's predecessor institution, the Institute of Social Science and Arts (1903-1908; from 1906, known as the Chicago Institute of Social Science).
The collection is open for research.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
The Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy was established in 1908. It began as the Institute of Social Science and Arts, organized in 1903 by Graham Taylor. Taylor was a Professor of Sociology at the Chicago Theological Seminary, a social gospel minister, and founder of the settlement house Chicago Commons. The Institute was heavily influenced by the ideals of the settlement movement. Started by Victorian social reformers in London, settlement houses were both residences for social workers and centers for food, shelter, and education in poor neighbourhoods. Sophonisba Breckinridge, Grace and Edith Abbott, and Julia Lathrop, all of whom would later contribute to the School of Civics and Philanthropy and its successor institution, had lived and worked at Chicago's Hull House settlement.
In 1906, gifts from Victor Lawson and the Russell Sage Foundation allowed the Institute to operate independently as the Chicago Institute of Social Science. Two years later it was incorporated as the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy. Faculty and students at the school addressed issues such as juvenile delinquency, truancy, vocational training, and housing. Early faculty included Breckinridge, Edith Abbott, Charles R. Henderson, Ernst Freund, and George Herbert Mead. The School moved to the former home of Charles R. Crane in 1916, where it continued its programs under the patronage of Crane, Julius Rosenwald, Anita McCormack Blaine, and L. Ryerson, and Victor Lawson. In 1920 the School officially merged with the University of Chicago's Philanthropic Division to become the School of Social Service Administration (SSA). Administrative restructuring did not alter the institution's mission, and SSA's commitment to social science research and practical training was shaped by the continued presence of faculty such as Breckinridge and Abbott.
Series I: Administration, contains correspondence, course descriptions, finances, and reports from the School of Civics and Philanthropy; its predecessor, the Institute of Social Science; and related institutions. It also contains the records of the Alumni Association's fundraising activities. It includes the School's "Bulletin," which listed courses, lectures and Chicago-area events related to social welfare. Material spans 1903-1922.
Series II: Student Files, contains alphabetical files documenting the education and background of students at the school. The files date from between 1908 and1920, though some inserted correspondence related to transcript requests date from later decades.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
Abbott, Edith and Grace. Papers
Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. Papers
Rosenwald, Julius. Papers
University of Chicago. School of Social Service Administration. Records 1920-1956
Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy
University of Chicago. School of Social Service Administration
Social work education
Alumni Association, correspondence and fundraising, 1915-1922
Chicago Institute of Social Science and Arts, circulars and announcements, 1903-1906
Chicago Institute of Social Science, course descriptions, 1906-1908
Cleveland Board of Health, "Milk" report, 1914
Colville, Frank M., "The Child of the Man with the Hoe," poem draft, 1909
Course descriptions and lecture notices, 1906-1918
Diploma ribbon, undated
Finances and progress reports, 1914-1922
Henderson, Charles R., petition against the death penalty, 1911
Indiana Board of State Charities, correspondence on prison labour, 1910-1911
Sears, Amelia, "The Charity Visitor: A Handbook for Beginners," 1917
Social settlements, correspondence and questionnaire, 1911-1912
Society for Mental Hygiene, list of prospective trustees, 1908
Walker, Natalie, diploma, 1915