Greeley, Nationalities Map no. 2 (1895)

Like photographs, maps served as important tools for progressive reformers. Maps enabled them to synthesize social and economic data for designated geographical areas and present the information in an accessible way. The thematic mapping of social statistics first developed in Europe in the early nineteenth century. Later in the century, it was adopted by American government agencies, notably the Census Bureau, and became a foundational tool of the new science of Sociology, a field in which the University of Chicago played a leading role. This map originally appeared as part of the Hull-House Maps and Papers: A Presentation of Nationalities and Wages in a Congested District of Chicago, Together With Comments and Essays on Problems Growing Out of the Social Conditions published in 1895. Florence Kelley, a resident of Hull-House and an investigator for the Illinois Bureau of Labor, directed a survey that collected data on the wages and nationalities of the denizens of the neighborhoods surrounding Hull-House. Kelley’s fellow-residents then compiled the information into eight brilliantly-colored maps, which dramatized the low income levels and ethnic diversity that prevailed in the neighborhood. The 1895 volume also included interpretive essays by Kelley her Hull-House colleagues Jane Addams, Ellen Gates Starr, and Julia Lathrop. Historians regard this study as the first social survey of an urban area in the United States. The project also illustrates the limits of sociological inquiry. Critics of have claimed that Kelley and her investigators omitted nearby neighborhoods whose residents were ethnically diverse, but also rising in the social strata. By focusing the study exclusively on the most problematic areas, the Hull-House Maps and Papers presented a depiction of the area that was some ways misleading about social conditions in Chicago.



Bulmer, Martin, Kevin Bales, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. The Social Survey in Historical Perspective, 1880-1940. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1991.

O'Connor, Alice. Poverty Knowledge: Social Science, Social Policy, and the Poor in Twentieth-Century U.S. History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Schultz, Rima Lunin. Introduction to Hull-House Maps and Papers, by Jane Addams et al., 1-45. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2007.

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Florence Kelley and the Nation's Work. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Wallis, Helen M., and Arthur H. Robinson, eds. Cartographical Innovations:An International Handbook of Mapping Terms to 1900. London:Map Collector Publications Ltd, 1987.



University of Illinois at Chicago. “Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and its Neighborhoods, 1889 – 1963.”

Samuel Sewell Greeley, “Nationalities Map no. 2, Polk St to Twelfth St, Chicago,” in Hull-House Maps and Papers (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1895). The Newberry Library, map6F G4104.C6E2 1895 .G7 sheet 2