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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the William Rutherford P. Ireland Papers circa 1925-1944

© 2011 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Ireland, William Rutherford P. Papers

Dates:

circa 1925-1944

Size:

2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

William Rutherford P. Ireland, graduate student in Sociology at the University of Chicago from 1925. He was a student of Chicago School urban sociologists Ernest Burgess and Robert E. Park and prepared extensive material for a never-completed PhD dissertation on Chicago’s “bohemian” population –artists, immigrants, workers, and those living transient or unconventional lifestyles in the city’s rooming houses and settlement houses. This collection includes bohemian life histories and interviews, analyses of urban mobility and rooming house culture, demographic data, and dissertation chapter drafts.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Ireland, William Rutherford P. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

William Rutherford P. Ireland was born in 1897 in Syracuse, New York. He was admitted to the University of Chicago in 1925, where he pursued a PhD in the Sociology Department. He prepared extensive material for a dissertation on Chicago’s “bohemian” population –artists, immigrants, students, workers, and those living transient or unconventional lifestyles in the city’s rooming houses and settlement houses.

Ireland’s topic was influenced by his advisors, influential sociologists Ernest Burgess and Robert E. Park. Burgess and Park were founding members of the Chicago School, a research approach that applied ethnographic and sociological methods to the contemporary urban environment. Burgess and Park attempted to explain America’s urban demography by mapping the city in concentric zones according to land use and rent.

Ireland’s research reflected the interwar drive of other students and artists to uncover the “authentic” America. They championed intellectual freedom and social permissiveness, while left-wing policymakers and organized labor attempted to eradicate disparities of wealth exacerbated by the Depression.

Ireland gathered considerable data on the demographics and mobility patterns of his subjects. Some of this information, particularly his analysis of rooming house landlords and tenants, became dissertation chapter drafts. Ireland never completed his dissertation, but the interviews and life histories he gathered from “malcontents and discontents” while researching the project provide an interesting perspective on transient and bohemian communities in interwar Chicago.

Scope Note

This collection is organized into two series:

Series 1: Research, contains bohemian interviews, life stories, and demographic data, with Ireland’s related notes. It includes material on Michael Barroy, an aristocratic refugee from the Revolution living in Chicago during the 1920s; and the Dill Pickle Club, a community on the near north side devoted to self-education and artistic production. Untitled documents were numbered by Ireland. Documents are undated unless otherwise listed.

Series 2: Drafts, contains portions of Ireland’s dissertation manuscript. These chapters deal primarily with rooming house culture and patterns of wage earning and mobility amongst landlords and tenants. Drafts are undated unless otherwise listed.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Ernest Burgess. Papers

Ernest Burgess. Papers. Addenda

Robert E. Park. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Research

This series is organized into three subseries:

Subseries 1, Research Materials, contains various bohemian interviews, life stories, and demographic data, with Ireland’s related notes. Ireland organized the bulk of his research material into a series of untitled, numbered “documents”; this system has been preserved here. Many of these documents are incomplete. Material is undated unless otherwise listed.

Subseries 2, Michael Barroy, contains the life history of an aristocratic refugee from the Revolution living in Chicago during the 1920s. It includes Ireland’s related notes. Documents are undated unless otherwise listed.

Subseries 3, The Dill Pickle Club, contains members’ accounts of a community devoted to self-education and artistic production. The Dill Pickle Club was located in Tooker Alley off Dearborn Street on Chicago’s near north side. The houses there functioned as an artists’ residence, theatre, speakeasy, and unofficial university. Documents are undated unless otherwise listed.

Subseries 1: Research Materials

Box 1   Folder 1

“Chinese-American rooming houses”

Box 1   Folder 2

“City living,” maps and data

Box 1   Folder 3

Correspondence, circa 1920s-1944

Box 1   Folder 4

Department of commerce, bulletins, 1944-1946

Box 1   Folder 5

“Housing women migrants,” data

Box 1   Folder 6

Hunt, Jimmie A., correspondence with “Earl,” 1925

Box 1   Folder 7

Migration and death rates, maps and data, circa 1910-1920

Box 1   Folder 8

“Near north side rooming house area”

Box 1   Folder 9

Polish community, biographies and material for questionnaires

Box 1   Folder 10

Rooming houses and hotels, data

Box 1   Folder 11

“The Settlement House Dance Committee”

Box 1   Folder 12

Society for Social Research, bulletins, 1939-1945

Box 1   Folder 13

“Trials and joys of a keeper of ‘studios for rent’ as distinguished from furnished rooms”

Box 1   Folder 14

“The wandering of a truck driver met at a settlement house dance”

Box 1   Folder 15

Women migrants, data

Box 2   Folder 1

Documents 1-29, list

Box 2   Folder 2

Documents 1-37, life histories, rooming house tenants

Box 2   Folder 3

Document 38, description, San Francisco’s puppet theatre

Box 2   Folder 4

Documents 39-47, description, Diamond Lil restaurant

Box 2   Folder 5

Documents 48-50, interviews, The Neo-arlimusc Club and landlady Miss Craig

Box 2   Folder 6-7

Document 51, life history and poetry, Kenneth Thorpe

Box 2   Folder 8-9

Document 58, correspondence, Charles S. Newcombe, 1938

Box 2   Folder 10

Document 68, interviews and life histories, immigrants

Box 2   Folder 11-13

Document 75, life histories, rooming house tenants

Box 2   Folder 14

Document 76, life history, Ralph B.

Box 2   Folder 15

Document 77, life history, Mr. N

Box 2   Folder 16

Document 78, anecdote, “naïve radical”

Box 2   Folder 17

Document 79, description, YMCA/YWCA

Box 2   Folder 18

Document 80, description, communist meetings

Box 2   Folder 19

Document 81, life history, waitress at restaurant on Dearborn

Box 2   Folder 20

Document 82 , life history, L.N.S.

Box 3   Folder 1

Document 83, life history, Will

Box 3   Folder 2

Document 84, anecdote, party

Box 3   Folder 3

Document 85, anecdote, Harry Fink’s party

Box 3   Folder 4

Document 86, life history, minister’s divorcée

Box 3   Folder 5-6

Document 92, description, rooming house at Ontario and Michigan

Box 3   Folder 7

Document 103, interviews, rooming house managers

Box 3   Folder 8

Document 104, interviews, rooming house managers

Box 3   Folder 9

Document 105, interview, David Lipman, Apartment House and Hotel Association

Box 3   Folder 10

Document 106, life history, poetess

Box 3   Folder 11

Documents 108-109, description, Goethe Hotel

Box 3   Folder 12

Documents 110-112, interview, Crowe brothers, rooming house brokers

Box 3   Folder 13

Documents 113-114, interview, Don and Lucille

Box 3   Folder 14

Document 115, life history and anecdotes, Elizabeth Davis

Box 3   Folder 15

Documents 116, 141, 146, life history, college student

Box 3   Folder 16

Document 150, interview, Max Lippit, Washington Bookstore

Subseries 2: Michael Barroy

Box 3   Folder 17-19

Biography

Box 3   Folder 20-21

“A Case of Bohemianism,” circa 1937

Box 4   Folder 1-2

“A Case of Bohemianism”

Box 4   Folder 3

“Kantor’s Children,” 1929

Box 4   Folder 4

“Rumours of War”

Subseries 3: The Dill Pickle Club

Box 4   Folder 5

“The Dill Pickle Club: Salvaging the Gods”

Box 4   Folder 6

“Glimpses of Ben Reitman, M.D.”

Box 4   Folder 7

Reitman, Ben, “Highlights in Dill Pickle History,” 1936

Box 4   Folder 8

Schoenherr, John, “The Dill Pickle Club”

Box 4   Folder 9

“Tribute to Ben Reitman”

Box 4   Folder 10

Udell, Mr. and Mrs. Howard, and the Radical Bookstore, memoirs

Series II: Drafts

This series contains portions of Ireland’s dissertation manuscript. These chapters deal primarily with rooming house culture and patterns of wage earning and mobility amongst landlords and tenants.

Box 4   Folder 11

“Migration and Bohemianism in Mid-America,” dissertation outline, undated

Box 4   Folder 12

“Mental Maladies,” undated

Box 4   Folder 13

“Mobility and Personality,” undated

Box 4   Folder 14

“Non-Family Population in Chicago,” undated

Box 4   Folder 15

“Roomers in Houses,” undated

Box 4   Folder 16

“Rooming Houses and Hotels,” undated