Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections

Exhibition Themes > History > 111. Jane Addams

111.  Jane Addams (1860-1935).  Twenty Years at Hull-House with Autobiographical Notes ... with Illustrations by Norah Hamilton, Hull-House, Chicago. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1910.  Barnard College, Overbury Collection

Jane Addams is best known as the founder of Hull House in Chicago, one of the first social settlements in North America. During a trip to Europe in 1887-88 with Ellen Gates Starr, she was inspired by a visit to the Toynbee Hall settlement house, founded in 1884. Toynbee Hall was located in Whitechapel, the area east of the City of London that would become notorious for the exploits of Jack the Ripper beginning in August, 1888.

Returning to the United States, Addams and Starr acquired a large vacant house that had been built by Charles Hull, renaming it Hull House. This would grow to a settlement that included thirteen buildings and a camp near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In 1910, the year that Twenty Years at Hull House was published, she became the first woman president of the National Conference of Social Work. In 1920, she was instrumental in the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union. For these and many other endeavors, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for peace in 1931, along with Nicholas Murray Butler.

Bequest of Bertha Van Riper Overbury, 1963

Columbia University Libraries / Butler Library / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-7309 /