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Overview

"An examination of the microfilm revealed that considerable forethought was given to filming....[Project participants] should be commended for bringing together a superb collection of primary research materials and for creating a valuable guide to those materials. Scholarship concerning Addams and numerous other subjects will clearly be enhanced."

--Illinois Historical Journal

Jane Addams achieved international fame through her social work, reform strategies, and activities in support of world peace. She was also a role model at a time when few women had entered the public arena.

Students and researchers in women's studies, American history, political science, sociology, and social work can now access important resource materials through this microfilm collection. The many roles of this American heroine can be studied and compared with the course of American history from the Civil War era through industrialization and the New Deal. Some of Addams's notable roles include:

 

  • founder of Hull-House
  • founder and president of the International League for Peace and Freedom
  • lobbyist and lecturer on such topics as child labor, legislation, public health, unemployment relief, social insurance, and women's suffrage
  • first woman president of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections
  • author of 12 books and countless journal articles

This collection documents the rise of her popularity and its temporary decline when she was reviled as a traitor for her advocacy of peace at a time when public sentiment favored war. Only when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931--four years before her death--were her anti-war actions vindicated in the minds of the general public.

The Jane Addams Papers is organized into five parts:

 

  • Correspondence--Composed primarily of letters, including telegrams and postcards. Correspondents include people such as Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ida Tarbell, and Emily Greene Balch.
  • Documents--Includes personal documents, educational records, diaries, calendars, Addams's writings, and documents relating to her death.
  • Writings--Featured are manuscripts and published versions of articles, speeches, and statements.
  • Hull-House Association Records--This section documents the history of Hull-House from its founding in 1889 through Addams's death in 1935. Included are minutes, bylaws, contracts, ledgers, clippings, scrapbooks, reports, and inventories.
  • Clippings File--Filmed from the holdings of the Swarthmore College Peace Foundation, this section features newspaper and periodical clippings about Addams and her career, including many written after her death.

The more than 120,000 pages of documents in this collection represent a primary research source and open a new chapter in any comprehensive study of Jane Addams and her remarkable influence on the era during which she lived.

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