Hull-House photograph collection (formerly known as the Jane Addams Memorial Collection)

Inclusive Dates: 
1860s–1970s and undated (bulk 1900–1950)
This record forms part of the Chicago’s Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource project funded by the Terra Foundation for American Art. For this project, the Archives surveyed archival repositories throughout the Chicago region to identify art-related materials contained in their holdings. While the Archives of American Art does not own any of the materials described herein, information about those materials and links to the original repositories have been included when available.

Descriptive Summary

32.5 linear feet of material consisting of more than 5,000 print photographs and negatives taken by Wallace Kirkland that pertain to Jane Addams, Hull-House, and related topics, including activities at Hull-House and affiliated institutions. Photographs may document art-related activities at Hull-House.

Biographical Historical Note

Founded by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in 1889, Hull-House was a settlement house in Chicago’s west-side immigrant community. Its diverse services and activities were intended to help immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. and their children to develop into productive citizens. Cultural activities, including art instruction and craft workshops, were central to life at Hull-House from an early point in its history.

Wallace Kirkland was a resident social worker at Chicago’s Hull-House when he began using photography as an activity for the boys in his charge. He documented life at Hull-House, but eventually embarked on a fulltime career as a professional photographer, notably as a staff photographer for Life magazine.


Additional Notes

This collection has sometimes been known as the Jane Addams Memorial Collection, the Jane Addams Photograph Memorial Collection, or the Jane Addams Memorial Collection of Photographs. Researchers and patrons might also find this collection referenced online or in secondary works as "JAMC."

More than 3,700 photographs in this collection have been digitized and may be found at

Related collections: Eleanor Howard Collection of Wallace Kirkland Photographs and Wallace Kirkland papers, University of Illinois at Chicago; Gordon Coster Photograph Collection, Chicago History Museum.