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Northwestern University Library
Northwestern University Library

Guide to the Elizabeth Hobart (1891-1980) Scrapbook 1909/1916

Overview of the Collection


Elizabeth Hobart (1891-1980) Scrapbook




Hobart, Elizabeth, 1891-1980




Northwestern University Archives

Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Phone: 847-491-3354


The Elizabeth Hobart scrapbook dates from the period 1909-1916 and features a variety of materials relating principally to Hobart's social life and academic studies while a student at Northwestern.

Biographical Information

Elizabeth (Bessie) Hobart, the daughter of William Thomas Hobart and Emily Hatfield Hobart, was born in March 1891 in Peking, China. Her parents were Methodist missionaries who worked in China for many years. Hobart graduated from Northwestern University in 1913 with a B.A. with distinction in Greek. Much like her parents, she spent much of her career working as a Methodist missionary in China. She died in Evanston in 1980.

Hobart came from a family with strong ties to Evanston, Illinois, and Northwestern University. Her father took a Bachelor's degree from the University in 1879 and received B.D. and D.D. degrees from the Garrett Biblical Institute in 1881. Hobart's mother received a Northwestern Bachelor's degree in 1882 and a Master's in 1887. Emily Hatfield Hobart was the daughter of Robert M. Hatfield, a prominent clergyman and a longtime Northwestern trustee. Emily's brother, James Taft Hatfield, was a respected member of the Northwestern faculty from 1889 to 1934. Hobart House, a Northwestern residence hall, was named in memory of Emily Hatfield Hobart after her violent death in a 1928 uprising at Tainanfu, China.

Elizabeth Hobart graduated from Evanston Township High School and entered Northwestern University in the fall of 1909. She was an active member of her class; Hobart joined the Alpha Phi sorority, the YWCA, the Alethenai Literary Society, the Syllabus board, and Phi Beta Kappa. She served as Class Historian and prepared a lengthy verse tribute to her class and its members, which appeared in “Lest We Forget,” a commencement publication of the class of 1913. Hobart majored in Greek and in 1913 received a B.A. degree with distinction from Northwestern's College of Liberal Arts.

After graduating from Northwestern, Hobart studied at the Chicago Kindergarten Institute and received a diploma from that institution in 1915. In 1927 she took a B.E. degree from National College of Education and later received an M.A. from Columbia Teachers College.

For much of her career Hobart worked, like her parents, as a Methodist missionary in China. She taught and supervised kindergartens and primary schools in Peking and Tientsin. During World War II she spent several months interned in a Japanese concentration camp in China before being repatriated to the United States. Hobart also worked four years as a teacher in a mission school at Lucknow, India.

Elizabeth Hobart died in Evanston on December 25, 1980.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)--History

Personal Name:

Hobart, Elizabeth, 1891-1980

Topical Term:

Women college students--Illinois--Evanston

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Jane Hobart donated the scrapbook to the University Archives on May 4, 1981 (Accession #81-91).

Processing Information

Kevin B. Leonard; May 18, 1998.

Conditions Governing Access


Related Materials

Researchers interested in student life from this period also should consult the Ethel Robinson Papers (Series 31/6/49).

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Hobart scrapbook dates from the period 1909-1916 and features a variety of materials relating principally to Hobart's social life and academic studies while a student at Northwestern. Included are newspaper clippings, photographs, a small amount of correspondence, printed materials, dance cards, pressed flowers, and other ephemera. Northwestern and area cultural events such as plays, musical performances, oratorical contests, and recitations are well-represented by materials found in the scrapbook.