Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, 1866-1948

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Social work educator. S.B., Wellesley College, 1888. Ph. M., University of Chicago, 1897; Ph. D., 1901; J.D., 1904. Assistant dean of women, University of Chicago, 1902-1925; docent in political science, 1902-1904; instructor in household administration, 1904-1909; assistant professor, 1909-1910; assistant professor of social economy, 1910-1920; associate professor economy, School of Social Service Administration, 1920-1925; dean in the College of Arts, Literature, and Science, 1923-1929; Samuel Deutsch Professor, 1929-1948. Breckinridge also worked at Hull House during the summers and at the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy.

From the description of Papers, 1908-1949 (inclusive). (University of Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52250093

Sophonisba Breckinridge (1866-1948) was a welfare worker who led the social work education movement in the United States. Breckinridge graduated from Wellesley College in 1888 and continued her studies in law and political science at the University of Chicago, earning her Ph. D. in 1901. She joined the faculty at the University of Chicago in 1904, teaching in the Department of Household Administration until 1912. Beginning in 1907, she was involved in the Women's Trade Union League and with Hull-House, where she lived from 1907 to 1920. Also in 1907, she began teaching at the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, later the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Social Service Administration. Breckinridge's ideas about rigorous coursework and training techniques set the standard for social work education in the United States. In 1927, she co-founded and edited the journal "Social Service Review." She also helped organize the Woman's Peace Party and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

From the description of Papers, 1912-ca. 1940. (University of Illinois-Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52995429

Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge was born April 1, 1866, in Lexington, Kentucky, the daughter of William C. P. Breckinridge and Issa Desha. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1888, and in 1895 was admitted to the Kentucky bar. Her law practice did not prosper, and a Wellesley classmate, May Cook, persuaded her to go to the University of Chicago to take a position as secretary to Marion Talbot, the Dean of Women.

Breckinridge received a Ph.M. degree from the University of Chicago in 1897 and a Ph.D. in political science and economics in 1901. In 1904 she became the first woman to receive the J.D. degree from the University. She taught briefly in the Department of Political Science and then joined Talbot in the Department of Household Administration, becoming an assistant professor in 1909. She also served as head of Green Hall, one of the women's dormitories, and resided there for most of her career.

While teaching at the University, Breckinridge spent her summers at Hull-House and became involved with many of the activities there. She also worked at the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, serving as its dean, and was instrumental in the merger of the school with the University to form the School of Social Service Administration in 1920. Her teaching, research, and publications helped to define social work as a profession and mold it into an academic discipline. She was made a full professor in 1925, and was named Samuel Deutsch Professor of Public Welfare Administration in 1929, remaining active until a few months before her death in 1948.

From the guide to the Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. Papers, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Miller, Emma Guffey, 1874-1970. Papers, 1833-1975 (bulk: 1884-1972) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series II, 1894-1948 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Taylor, Graham, 1851-1938. Graham Taylor papers, 1820-1975, (bulk 1866-1940). Newberry Library
referencedIn Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949. Papers, 1872-1949 Houghton Library
referencedIn Abbott, Edith and Grace. Papers, 1870-1967 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Beard, Mary Ritter, 1876-1958. Papers, 1935-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Woman's rights collection, 1853-1958 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Van Waters, Miriam, 1887-1974. Papers, 1861-1971 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, 1866-1948. Papers, 1912-ca. 1940. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
referencedIn Talbot, Marion. Papers, 1854-1948 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn National Women's Trade Union League of America. Records, 1903-1950. [microform] Cornell University Library
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers, 1874-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Park, Maud Wood, 1871-1955. Papers in the Woman's Rights Collection, 1870-1960 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. Papers, 1854-1948 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn National Women’s Trade Union League of America Records, 1903-1950 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers, 1898-1975 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers in the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1869-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Ludlow mss., 1898-1948 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Papers, 1890-1946 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn National Women's Trade Union League of America. Records of the National Women's Trade Union League of America, 1903-1950. Library of Congress
referencedIn American Association for Labor Legislation. Series 1, Subseries 1, part a. Correspondence (A-H), 1905-1910. [microform] Cornell University Library
creatorOf Browning, Grace Alta, 1904-. Grace Browning and Mary Houk papers, 1910-1951 (bulk 1928-1951). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Van Waters, Miriam. Papers, 1861-1971 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Rebecca Shelley Papers, 1890-1984 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Stantial, Edna Lamprey. Papers, 1836-1958 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dummer, Ethel Sturges, 1866-1954. Papers, 1766-1962 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Bureau of Vocational Information. Records, 1908-1932 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Breckinridge Family Papers, 1752-1965 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Papers, n.d., 1902-1941 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. Papers, 1870-1978 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dummer, Ethel Sturges, 1866-1954. Papers, 1689-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Miller, Emma Guffey, 1874-1970. Papers: Series I-II, 1833-1975 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Grace Browning and Mary Houk papers, 1910-1951, (bulk 1928-1951) University of Minnesota Libraries. Social Welfare History Archives. [swha]
referencedIn Blaine, Anita McCormick. Correspondence and papers, 1828-1958. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
referencedIn Abbott, Edith, 1876-1957. Edith and Grace Abbott papers, 1870-1967 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.). Records, 1908-1932 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Edith and Grace Abbott, Papers, 1905-1976 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers, 1877-1983 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Shelley, Rebecca, 1887-1984. Rebecca Shelley papers, 1890-1984. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Bosworth, Louise Marion, 1881-1982. Papers, 1890-1946 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers, 1877-1983 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Breckinridge, Sophonisba P. Papers Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Papers of Cecilia Razovsky, undated, 1913-1971 American Jewish Historical Society at the Center for Jewish History
referencedIn Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. Papers of Molly Dewson, 1893-1962 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, 1862-1945. Papers in the Mary Earhart Dillon collection, 1869-1945 Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Breckinridge, Clifton Rodes, 1846-1932. Breckinridge family papers, 1752-1965. Library of Congress
creatorOf Breckinridge, Sophonisba Preston, 1866-1948. Papers, 1908-1949 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Hefferan, Helen Maley, 1870-. Series IV of the Mary Earhart Dillon Collection, 1902-1941 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbott, Edith, 1876-1957. person
associatedWith Abbott, Grace, 1878-1939 person
associatedWith Addams, Jane, 1860-1935. person
associatedWith American Association for Labor Legislation. corporateBody
associatedWith Blaine, Anita McCormick. person
associatedWith Bosworth, Louise Marion, 1881-1982. person
associatedWith Breckinridge family family
associatedWith Browning, Grace Alta, 1904- person
associatedWith Bureau of Vocational Information corporateBody
associatedWith Bureau of Vocational Information (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCulloch, 1862-1945 person
associatedWith Catharine Gouger (Waugh) McCullouch, 1862-1945 person
associatedWith Cecilia Razovsky person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith Dewson, Molly, 1874-1962. person
associatedWith Dummer, Ethel Sturges, 1866-1954. person
associatedWith Eliot, Martha M. (Martha May), b. 1891. person
associatedWith Emma (Guffey) Miller, 1874-1970 person
associatedWith ETHEL STURGES DUMMER, 1866-1954 person
associatedWith Hefferan, Helen Maley, 1870- person
associatedWith Helen (Maley) Hefferan, 1870- person
associatedWith Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Lathrop, Julia Clifford, 1858-1932. person
associatedWith LOUISE MARION BOSWORTH, 1881-1982 person
associatedWith Ludlow, Louis, 1873-1950 person
associatedWith MARTHA MAY ELIOT, 1891-1978 person
associatedWith MARY (MOLLY) WILLIAMS DEWSON, 1874-1962 person
associatedWith Mary (Ritter) Beard, 1876-1958 person
associatedWith MARY (WARE) DENNETT person
associatedWith Maud May (Wood) Park, 1871-1955 person
associatedWith McCulloch, Catharine Waugh, b. 1862. person
associatedWith Miller, Emma Guffey, 1874-1970. person
associatedWith MIRIAM VAN WATERS, 1887-1974 person
associatedWith National Women's Trade Union League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith National Women’s Trade Union League of America corporateBody
associatedWith Shelley, Rebecca, 1887-1984. person
associatedWith Stantial, Edna Lamprey. person
associatedWith Talbot, Marion, 1858-1948. person
associatedWith Taylor, Graham, 1851-1938. person
associatedWith University of Chicago. School of Social Service Administration. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Waters, Miriam. person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Illinois--Chicago
United States
Illinois
Subject
Social work education
Women in social work education
Social work education--Sources
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1866-04-01

Death 1948-07-30

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