Florence Hollis and Rosemary Ross Reynolds papers
Scope and Contents
The papers document the personal and professional activities of Florence Hollis and Rosemary Reynolds. They also provide information about broad changes in the social work profession. These changes are documented through correspondence, agency records, and speeches and writings, in which Hollis and her colleagues describe some of the new trends in the field, particularly from the 1970s onwards. In addition, the case records provide valuable information about the changing interpretations and treatment approaches of clinicians working with clients who are confronting a range of issues, from incest to concerns about racial identity.
Important correspondents in the collection include Charlotte Towle, Lucille Austin, Florence Day, Eileen Younghusband, Anni Hofer, Ruth Zobrist, Inga Gottfarb, and Frank March. There is also some correspondence from Gordon Hamilton and scant correspondence from, and other material related to, Bertha Reynolds and Betsey Libbey.
Dates of Materials
- Majority of material found within 1930-1986
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Portions of several series containing confidential information are closed for seventy-five years from the date of creation. Correspondence from Judith Mishne, a former Columbia University faculty member, has been restricted until Mishne's death or the year 2044. Student papers remain inacessible at this time. To protect personal privacy, researchers will be required to sign a form agreeing not to publish or otherwise use names from case records.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
In September 1931, Hollis took a post as district superintendent at the Family Society of Philadelphia. She remained there until 1933, when she assumed the position of district secretary at the Institute of Family Service (Associated Charities) in Cleveland, where she was responsible for administration and supervision of case workers. During her tenure in Cleveland, she received an invitation to assume Bertha Reynold's position as associate director of the Smith School for Social Work. She declined, firm in her commitment to the Cleveland agency and to long-term casework. She was also a member of the Cleveland 'think group,' which included Florence Day and Rosemary Reynolds as members. During this period Hollis and Reynolds strengthened a friendship and professional association which was to become central to them both.
Hollis's teaching career began in 1934 when she taught one course in casework at Western Reserve University, while still maintaining her position as district secretary in Cleveland. Gradually she assumed a heavier course load at Western Reserve and by 1937 was appointed fulltime assistant professor. The following year she began a study of social casework. Her findings were published in 1939, in Social Casework in Practice: Six Case Studies. In 1940, professing a deepening interest in teaching casework and in research, Hollis began taking courses through the Department of Social Economy and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, where she received a fellowship from the American Association of University Women to study the social and psychological factors contributing to marital difficulties. While working on her doctorate, she taught at the New York School of Social Work, (later Columbia University School of Social Work), and also served as Director of Publications for the Family Service Association of America, editing the Journal of Social Case Work (previously The Family.) Hollis's doctoral dissertation, completed in 1947, was published in 1949 under the title Women in Marital Conflict. The same year that Hollis completed her dissertation she had major surgery, undergoing a left radical mastectomy after being diagnosed for cancer.
For much of the next twenty years, Hollis continued to teach at Columbia and to maintain a small clinical practice at the Community Service Society of New York. From 1955 to 1962, she taught summers at the Smith College School for Social Work. In 1964, Hollis's widely acclaimed book Casework: A Psychosocial Therapy was published. The first edition was translated into several languages. Subsequent revised editions, published in 1972, 1981, and 1990, continued to attract a wide audience.
As a full professor at the New York School, Hollis also remained active in research. Beginning in the late 1940s she started to develop ideas for a classification system used to describe the techniques used by caseworkers in their direct work with clients, and during a 1958 sabbatical the work began to take on a definite shape. The classification system or "typology" she developed was based on a content analysis of casework records both written and taped. The study, which extended into the 1960s, received funding through a National Institute of Mental Health grant. Hollis's classification system generated some interest in the academic community and other clinicians have expanded on the work.
Hollis retired in 1972 and in 1977, with her companion and colleague, Rosemary Reynolds, moved to Crosslands, a retirement community in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. For more than forty years the friends had shared both professional interests and a common living arrangement. Most likely, they had first met during the period between 1928 to 1930, when both were taking coursework at the Pennsylvania School of Social Work. When Reynolds died on September 18, 1980, Hollis received many condolences on her loss.
Rosemary Ross Reynolds, the daughter of Mary and Chauncey P. Reynolds was born in Chicago on April 10, 1906. Her father was editor of a farm paper, and after his death, Mary Reynolds became the household editor of five weeklies and then the Farm Journal, a national farm paper. Reynolds received her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College in 1928. The recipient of the Patten Memorial Scholarship, Reynolds went to London after graduation to study the social conditions there. She also received a fellowship for two years of study at the Pennsylvania School of Social Work, where she received her M.S.W. in 1935. Before completing her graduate work she took a position as caseworker with the Family Society of Philadelphia, where she worked from 1930 through 1933. Following this she assumed the position of district secretary at the Cuyahoga County Relief Administration in Cleveland. She also served as a case consultant and case supervisor at the agency. In addition, Reynolds began teaching at Western Reserve University, School of Applied Social Sciences, where, from 1934 to 1936, she served as an instructor and field advisor.
In 1937, Reynolds left the Cleveland agency to take a post as regional consultant with the Family Service Association of America, where she oversaw the services in five mid-western states. When she left the agency in 1940, to continue her schooling, she had a good deal of practical experience behind her as well as eight published articles. Reynolds completed two years of full-time post-graduate study at Bryn Mawr College Department of Social Economy and Social Research, before taking a permanent post at the Community Service Society of New York. In 1951, she became a district director, first in the Chelsea-Lowell area and then in the west side of Manhattan. In 1962, she assumed the directorship of the Department of Central Services, providing services for persons age sixty or older. Upon her retirement in 1971, Reynolds had been with the Community Service Organization for twenty-nine years.
Hollis had been diagnosed with lymphoma the year prior to Reynold's death in 1980, but continued work on the third edition of Social Casework, co-authored by Mary E. Woods. Hollis entrusted Woods with the rights to the book, which enjoyed a fourth edition, three year's after Hollis's death. Florence Hollis died at Crosslands on July 2, 1987.
63 boxes (25.4 linear feet)
- I. Biographical
- II. Correspondence
- III. Employment and Professional Work
- IV. Teaching
- V. Case Records
- VI. Writing and Speeches
- VII. Typology Research
- VIII. Notes on Selected Documents
- IX. Photographs
- X. Rosemary Reynolds Papers
- Oversize Materials
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Austin, Lucille N.--Correspondence
- Case files
- Columbia University. School of Social Work--Faculty
- Community Service Society of New York
- Day, Florence Roberts, 1898-
- Family Service Association of America
- Family Society of Philadelphia
- Female friendship
- Female friendship -- United States -- 20th century
- Gottfarb, Inga--Correspondence
- Hamilton, Gordon--Correspondence
- Hofer, Anni--Correspondence
- Hollis, Florence
- Lesbian and queer women
- March, Frank--Correspondence
- Oral histories
- Psychiatric social work
- Reynolds, Rosemary Ross, 1906-1980
- Smith College. School for Social Work.
- Social case work -- United States
- Social service
- Social work education -- United States
- Social workers -- United States
- Super, Stacia I.
- Towle, Charlotte--Correspondence
- Typology (psychology)
- Western Reserve University. School of Applied Social Sciences
- Women in higher education
- Woods, Mary
- Younghusband, Eileen Louise Dame, 1902-
- Zobrist, Ruth
- lecture notes
- Florence Hollis and Rosemary Ross Reynolds papers
- Finding Aid
- Rachel Weiner
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2005-09-23: mnsss33 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
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