Mary Bolton Wirth papers




University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center


2.5 Linear feet


Bulk, 1950-1969




Wirth, Mary Bolton

Biographical note

Mary Bolton Wirth, wife of the University of Chicago sociologist, Louis Wirth, had a distinguished career as a social worker over a period of more than fifty years, principally in the city of Chicago. Her prominence within her profession--she served as Executive Secretary of the Chicago chapter of the American Association of Social Workers from 1939-49 and as Supervisor of Community and Tenant Relations with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) from 1952-58--gave her the opportunity to struggle with and reflect upon many of the problems of administering social welfare programs, especially those in the field of public housing. After 1958, Mrs. Wirth continued to advise and consult on public housing.

Scope and Contents note

Contains correspondence, manuscripts, reports, memoranda, interviews, articles, notes, notebooks, travel accounts, biographical material, and photographs. Papers document Wirth's active career as a social worker, especially in the area of Chicago public housing. Includes material relating to the Chicago Housing Authority for which Wirth served as Supervisor of Community and Tenant Relations (1952-1958), the Department of Urban Renewal, and an investigation of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Michigan. Also includes material relating to University of Chicago alumni activities and Wirth's reaction over the non-reappointment of Marlene Dixon to the faculty at the University.

Processing Information note

This collection was surveyed as part of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium's Survey Initiative on 2010 January 27 by Lisa Calahan and Bergis Jules.

Related Archival Materials note

Within this repository: Louis Wirth Papers.