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Francis Stuart Chapin papers

Identifier: ua00962

Scope and Content

The collection largely contains papers and correspondence regarding the development and publication of Social Science Abstracts. Also contained are interviews and correspondence of Ronald Althouse regarding his Ph.D. dissertation on F. Stuart Chapin.


  • 1920-1936, 1963-1964; 2021


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the Francis Stuart Chapin papers should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives head.

Biographical Sketch of Francis Stuart Chapin (1888-1974)

Francis Stuart Chapin was born on February 3, 1888 in Brooklyn, New York. He received his bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1909. He also obtained his Master of Arts degree in sociology in 1910 and a Ph.D. in 1911 from Columbia. He taught economics at Wellesley College for one year and then moved to Smith College where he taught sociology and served as department chair (1912-1921). He was also director of the Smith College School for Social Work for three years (1918-1921).

Dr. Chapin accepted the position of professor of sociology and chair of the department in 1922 at the University of Minnesota (1922-1953). In addition to his sociology appointment, he again directed the social work program at the University: the Training Course for Social Work (1922-1950) and served as the first director of the newly developed School of Social Work in 1941.

In 1929, Dr. Chapin took a leave from the University to serve as editor of Social Science Abstracts. Professor Chapin was involved with Social Science Abstracts since its inception. It was he that proposed to the Executive Committee of the American Sociological Society in 1919 that a Committee be appointed to devise a plan to provide indices of abstracts of the literature in the social sciences. In April 1928, Social Science Abstractswas incorporated and publication began in March 1929, continuing monthly through the completion of the fourth volume in December 1932. A decline in subscriptions during the early years of the depression was a major influence in the Social Science Research Council’s decision on September 13, 1932, to discontinue its support of Social Science Abstracts. Even with the immeasurable support and time given by Dr. Chapin, the journal was unable to find sufficient additional financing and ceased publication at the end of 1932.

Dr. Chapin had an untiring work ethic. He was a member of many social science and social work associations, including American Sociological Association, where he served as president in 1936, and the Minnesota Council on Social Agencies, in addition to his work on Social Science Abstractsand teaching at the University. He retired in 1953 as professor emeritus. Dr. Chapin continued to write and edit works on sociology and social work during his retirement up until his death on July 7, 1974.


2.5 Cubic Feet (7 hollinger boxes)


The Francis Stuart Chapin was a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. The papers contain correspondence regarding the development and publication of Social Science Abstracts.

Source of acquisition

The bulk of the collection was deposited in University Archives in 1953. Additional materials were donated by Ronald Althouse in 1981. Chapin's grandchildren contributed a copy of the book, "Generational Shifts in a Puritan Ethic: F. Stuart Chapin, Sr.'s Heritage and Family," written by members of the family, in 2022.

Related Materials in the University of Minnesota Archives

Guy Stanton Ford papers

Ronald Snow Vaile papers

George Bryan Vold papers

University of Minnesota. Dept. of Psychology papers

University of Minnesota. Dept. of Sociology papers

University of Minnesota. School of Social Work papers

Partial Subject Inventory

  1. American Sociological Society- Folders 2, 41
  2. Banta Publishing Company- Folder 34
  3. Bowman, Isaiah- Folder 18
  4. Burchfield, Laverne- Folder 19
  5. Crane, Robert- Folder 20
  6. Day, Edmund- Folder 21
  7. Dewey, Davis- Folder 22
  8. Dewey, Virginia- Folder 23
  9. Engelbrecht, Helmut C.- Folder 24
  10. Ernst, Rosa- Folder 25
  11. Faris, Ellsworth- Folder 26
  12. Hayes, Carlton J.H.- Folder 27
  13. Hosea, Harold- Folders 28-29
  14. Langer, William- Folder 30
  15. Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial- Folder 41
  16. Lynd, Robert- Folder 31
  17. Ogg, Frederic- Folder 32
  18. Olson, Lois- Folder 33
  19. Peerenboom, C.A.- Folder 34
  20. Rockefeller Foundation- Folder 21
  21. Ross, Frank A.- Folder 35
  22. Sellen, Thorstein- Folder 64
  23. Social Science Abstracts- Folders 1-84 (Board of Directors - Folders 6-9; Editor-in-Chief's Final Report (draft) - Folder 10; Organization - Folders 2, 3-5 ; Termination - Folders 46-54, 82)
  1. Social Science Research Council- Folders 3-5, 13-17
  2. Wilson, Halsey W.- Folder 36
  3. Wissler, Clark- Folder 37
  4. Woodbury, Robert- Folders 38-39
  5. Woodworth, Robert- Folder 40
Francis Stuart Chapin papers, 1920-1964
Carol Jenson; updated by Karen Spilman
June 1967; January 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • November 2022: Publication added

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area