Howard W. Hopkirk papers, 1927-1963
Howard W. Hopkirk
inches (16 folders)
The papers of Howard W.
Hopkirk, who served periodically as executive director of the Child Welfare
League of America from 1940 through 1948 and was superintendent of a number of
children's institutions. Hopkirk's professional efforts focused on child
welfare, especially standards in child care, church-related child welfare
programs, and the relative merits of institutions and foster home care.
Minnesota Libraries. Social Welfare History
Access and Use
Howard W. Hopkirk's papers were received from the Child Welfare League
of America, with which he was associated between 1924 and 1952. Additional
materials were received in June, 1980, as a gift from Hopkirk's widow, Mrs.
Ruth Hopkirk, and the Hopkirks' daughter, Dorothy Hopkirk (Mrs. Eugene)
Ackerman of Minneapolis.
Open for use in Archives reading room.
Archives for copyright information.
The Howard W Hopkirk papers are arranged in two series:
- Series 1. Professional Correspondence, Speeches, and
- Series 2. Personal Correspondence and Papers
Howard W. Hopkirk was born in Montrose, Iowa, on March 21, 1894. In
1920, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He
also attended Union Theological Seminary from 1920 to 1923 and studied part
time at the New York School of Social Work from 1922 to 1925. In 1919, Hopkirk
was married to Ruth Hathaway. Hopkirk's social work career focused on child
welfare. Between 1921 and 1934, he served as a consultant on child care
institutions for the Child Welfare League of America. From 1935 to 1939, he was
the superintendent of the Albany Home for Children. Hopkirk was on the staff of
the Child Welfare League of America, serving periodically as executive director
between 1940 and 1948 and as senior consultant from 1948 to 1952. In 1944, he
authored Institutions Serving Children . From 1952
to 1959, he was Superintendent of the Louisville and Jefferson County
Children's Home in Louisville, Kentucky. At the time of his death on May 16,
1963, Hopkirk was a planning consultant for children's welfare services in
Corpus Christi, Texas, and chief supervisor of the Corpus Christi City-County
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Howard W. Hopkirk papers document his work in and concern for
child welfare. Prominent issues reflected in his papers are standards in child
care; church-related child welfare programs; and the relative merits of placing
children in institutions with cottage mothers supervising them versus providing
foster homes and individualized attention. The are no personal papers which
might reflect Hopkirk's relationships with family and colleagues.
The papers also contain Hopkirk's writings, most of which deal with
child welfare as well as practices and standards in child care institutions.
Included are: The Housemother's Guide (1946),
written with Edith Stern for staff members in child care institutions; book
reviews, personal notes, and annotations for a revision of
Institutions Serving Children (1944); articles on
child welfare, child labor, and child protective laws written for
encyclopedias; and a defense of public welfare that was published in
The Christian Century . Also included in the
collection are papers and sermon outlines from his time as a student at Union
Theological Seminary and notes from a lecture series on child welfare that he
gave at Alabama College in 1927.
The Social Welfare History Archives also holds the records of the
Welfare League of America.
- This Howard W. Hopkirk papers are indexed under the following headings
in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring
materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog
using these headings.
Howard William, 1894-
Howard William, 1894- --Archives.
- Child welfare--United
States--History--Sources. Church charities--United States--History--Sources.
- Group homes for
- Abused children--Services
- Church charities--United
- Child welfare
- Foster care for children
- Institutional care
- Religious and sectarian social work
Professional Correspondence, Speeches and
Correspondence and Papers 1928-1962 Box 1, Folder 1
Note Of particular interest are letters from various ministers to the
Child Welfare League of America praising Hopkirk’s work with the child welfare
programs of various protestant churches. Also contains scattered materials
discussing standards for institutional personnel.
Study of Southern Presbyterian Orphanages 1927 Box 1, Folder 2
Note Evaluation of Southern Presbyterian Orphanages for Henry H.
Sweets, Head of the Department of Christian Education of the Presbyterian
Church. Subjects include standards in child care, physical facilities at
orphanages, the need for professional social workers in institutions, and
church involvement in child care institutions.
Papers, Articles, and Speeches circa 1924-1929 Box 1, Folder 3
Note Topics include: standards in child care; problems of homeless
children; and recruiting, education, and standards for personnel in child care
institutions; and foster home care versus institutional care for children.
Other issues include cooperation between the Child Welfare League of America
and the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America in subsidizing League
programs, child welfare programs of churches and fraternal groups,
over-specialization in institutions, discipline, and cottage mothers.
Papers, Articles, and Speeches 1930-1939 Box 1, Folder 4
Note Topics include: church-related child welfare programs, child
care institutions, standards in child care, dependent children, financing child
care programs, the effect of the Great Depression on child welfare programs,
Albany Home for Children, and foster home care. Also includes a memorial
address for Christian Carl Carstens, Director of the Child Welfare League of
Papers, Articles, and Speeches 1940-1948 Box 1, Folder 5
Note Topics include: Child Welfare League of America, overview of
child welfare programs in the United States, effect of World War II on child
welfare, juvenile delinquency, African American children, child care
institutions, foster home care, church-related child welfare, post-World War II
child welfare needs, and federal reorganization of welfare services.
Papers, Articles, and Speeches 1949-1959 Box 1, Folder 6
Note Relates to requirements, salaries, and standards for
institutional personnel. Other topics include professionalization of
church-related child care, family dynamics, African American children, Child
Welfare League of America, cottage mothers, and evaluation of children’s
Papers, Articles, and Speeches 1960-1962 Box 1, Folder 7
Note Homemaker service, psychiatric group therapy, and
Guide 1946 Box 2, Folder 4
Articles 1960, 1962 Box 2, Folder 5
Encyclopedia Articles 1961-1963 Box 2, Folder 6
Children , Annotated Copy circa 1949 Box 2, Folder 7
Reviews and Personal notes 1944-1952 Box 2, Folder 8
Alabama College Lecture Notes 1927 Box 2, Folder 3
Personal Correspondence and Papers
Ruth Hopkirk Correspondence 1963 Box 1, Folder 8
Note In 1963, Ruth Hopkirk wrote a Christmas message comprising some
thoughts taken from Hopkirk’s article, “A Priceless Christmas Gift" which was
published in the Child Welfare League of America
Bulletin , December, 1942.
Biographical Information Box 2, Folder 1
Union Theological Seminary Papers 1922-1923 Box 2, Folder 2