Florence Kelley Collection

Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago - Special Collections and University Archives
Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 3-330
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-996-2742
Date: 1894-1981
Extent: .5 Linear Feet
Finding Aid
Access to this collection is restricted; please contact the holding institution for details.

Biographical/Historical Note:
Florence Kelley (1859-1932) was a social worker, reformer, lawyer, suffragist, and confirmed socialist. In 1891, she left her husband and moved to Chicago with her three children to become a resident of Hull-House. In 1892, Kelly was appointed by Govenor Atgeld as the state’s first chief factory inspector. In 1899, Kelley helped to establish the National Consumer’s League (NCL) and was its director from 1899-1932. The goal of the NCL was to secure protective labor legislation including a minumum wage and a limitation on the working hours of women and children. It strove for industrial reform through consumer activity. In 1905, Kelley was co-founder of the Intercollegiate Socialist Society along with Upton Sinclair and Jack London. Kelley was also an active supporter of African-American civil rights. She helped to establish the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. During World War I, Kelley was a committed pacifist. She opposed U.S. involvement in the war and was a member of the Women’s Peace Party (WPP) and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF). Kelley was also the author of several books including Some Ethical Gains Through Legislation (1905), Modern Industry in Relation to the Family (1914), The Supreme Court and Minimum Wage Legislation (1925) and Autobiography (1927).

Scope and Content Note:
The Florence Kelley Collection includes published reports and articles by Florence Kelley, a printed program for a memorial in her honor, and a few scholarly articles about her work.

Related Material: None