The Jane Addams Papers Project was founded in 1975 by Mary Lynn Bryan at the University of Illinois at Chicago, later moving to Duke University. Bryan, Nancy Slote, and Maree de Angury conducted an intensive search for Addams’ documents, publishing the 82-reel Jane Addams Papers microfilm edition in 1985 and a detailed guide and index in 1993 (University Microfilms International). The Project will complete three volumes of the planned six-volume Selected Papers of Jane Addams, covering the years 1860-1900 (University of Illinois Press). With the completion of Volume 3, editors Bryan and Maree de Angury will retire.

Dr. Cathy Moran Hajo re-launched the Jane Addams Papers Project at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s School of Humanities and Global Studies (SHGS) in 2015 with a new approach to making the materials available. Her goals are to digitize documents covering the years 1901-1935, making them freely available and searchable, to provide context for the documents by adding identifications of people, places, events, and organizations, to locate additional Addams materials and add them to the edition, and complete the remaining volumes of the Selected Papers of Jane Addams covering 1901-1935. An overarching aim of the project is to serve as a lab for undergraduate students to gain practical experience in historical research, writing, public history, and digital humanities.

For more about the project, see our website at http://janeaddams.ramapo.edu.

Using Materials Found on this Site

You may use text written by the Jane Addams Papers Project -- the identifications, educational materials, metadata, and other non-document text for non-commercial projects. Please credit the project when you do so.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Jane Addams Papers Project cannot grant permission for you to use the texts or images of documents, people, or organizations you will find here.

  • Each document has a link to the archival collection that owns it, and permission to republish the image should be secured from the archives.
  • Most of the images of people, organizations and events are in the public domain. A source citation for each is provided.
  • You may use the text from documents that are in the public domain, generally written by people who died more than 70 years ago, or published before 1923. For other document, permission must be secured from the copyright holders.

What You Will Find Here

The Jane Addams Digital Editon is a  work-in-progress. This short guide should help you know what you will find on this site and what you won't.


We are publishing correspondence and Jane Addams'writings starting in 1901 and ending in 1935. This includes:

  • Correspondence (letters to and from)
  • Enclosures in correspondence
  • Speeches
  • Articles
  • Statements and miscellaneous writings
  • Newspaper coverage of speeches for which we have no text.

We are not, at present, publishing the Hull-House records, Jane Addams' research files, miscellany, or photographs from her papers.

The bulk of the documents included here come from the Jane Addams Papers Microfilm Edition, published in 1985 by Mary Lynn Bryan and her team of editors at Duke University. 

We are also searching for additional documents that have become available since the microfilm was published. In these cases we are obtaining scans or copies from the archives and individuals who own them. If you know of a collection of Addams documents that is not listed among our collections, please contact us at chajo@ramapo.edu.

A small percentage of the microfilmed images are poor quality. We are replacing them with newly scanned or copied images whenever possible.


Document descriptions include metadata, such as titles, creators, subjects, tags, holding repository, and other information. We will publish a description of every known Addams document. But we may not be able to publish more than that due to rights and permissions.

Descriptions need to be proofread before they can be published to ensure that they are complete and accurate.


To publish images that are not in the public domain, we need to secure the permission of the archive or individual who actually owns it. In most cases, archives have been generous and have granted us permission. We are still following up with archives and obtaining permission to publish.  If you see a document that has no image, we have not yet cleared it or we have not cleared copyright.


We are also preparing transcriptions of all documents, so that they can be text-searched and so that difficult handwriting does not bar users from understanding the texts.

In order to include the content of documents that are not in public domain, we need to contact the author or his or her copyright heir to secure permission. Fortunately many of the authors who contribute to the Jane Addams Papers are in public domain, but for those who died less than 70 years ago, the Project is making an effort to locate and gain permission.

If there is no image and no transcription for a document, it likely means we have not yet secured copyright permission.

If the image appears, but there is no transcription, it means we have not yet transcribed the document, or have not proofread our transcription. We will not publish rough transcriptions that have not been checked by editors.


We plan to identify as many people, organizations, and events as possible, including those who are authors or recipients of documents, and those who are mentioned. Documents are linked to an identification record that includes information such as birth and death dates, locations, occupations, and biographical text.

When we are able to locate a rights-free image of the person, organization, or event, we will include it with a citation.

Until research is completed and fact-checked, you will find only the name and image, along with rights status. Once research has been completed, you will find a brief identification, along with sources for the information provided.


We are building a list of all known archival and private collections which contain Jane Addams materials. The digital edition may not show any documents in some of these collections, because we have not yet entered them, or because they contain materials that we excluded from the edition.  We will be adding descriptions and links to the finding aids of the collections, which will help you locate materials if you need them before we have added them.


We use exhibits to provide additional resources, from National History Day Guides, to videos from an Addams Conference and a guide to Reading Jane Addams' Handwriting. Look there for new features.