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Elmina Rose Lucke papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00192

Scope and Contents

The papers are concentrated in the period after World War II. There are some items, mainly from the 1930s, relating to her family, teaching, and research. With the exception of family letters and photographs, the papers document her professional work and are not personal in nature.

Dates of Materials

  • Creation: 1897-1987


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to unpublished works of Elmina Lucke. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Born on December 6 in Carleton, Michigan
Attended one-room school in Carleton.
Graduated from high school in Toledo, Ohio.
Helped establish and taught in Carleton's first high school.
Graduated from Oberlin College, Phi Beta Kappa.
Studied at the University of Berlin, returning home because of outbreak of war.
Taught history at Scott High School in Toledo.
Worked for the U.S. Children's Bureau in Gary, Indiana, directing social services; studied social service at the University of Chicago.
Employed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to conduct surveys in Oklahoma and Kansas.
Founded and directed the International Institute in Detroit, established by the Y.W.C.A. for recent immigrants.
Taught history and served on committee on curriculum reorganization for Toledo high schools.
Enrolled in International Law and Relations doctoral program at Columbia University as one of first two women to enter this program; received M.A.
Taught social studies at Lincoln School, Teacher's College, Columbia University, and was an associate in research.
Traveled around the world studying social science teaching with a grant from the American Historical Association.
Served on the National Board of the American Council of Nationalities Service.
Founded and directed the Delhi School of Social Work under the auspices of the Y.W.C.A. in India.
Awarded Fulbright Scholarship to Cairo, where she served as consultant in social work training to the Cairo School of Social Work and as advisor to the U.S. Point IV program.
Worked as consultant for the American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service.
Appointed chairman of the United Nations Technical Assistance Program to Pakistan advising on social work education.
Appointed to Board of Trustees, New Lincoln School.
Received Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Oberlin College.
Appointed to Advisory Board, Adelphi School of Social Work.
Appointed as its representative to the United Nations by the International Federation of University Women.
Served on Alumni Board of Oberlin College.
Served as delegate, Tonga Conference, Pan-Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association (PPSEAWA), and U.N. consultant, Australian Council of Women.
Appointed as its representative to the United Nations by the PPSEAWA; presented proposals relating to women's issues for the PPSEAWA at the U.N. Conference on Women in Teheran.
Member, Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund for University Women, Inc
Named, "Citizen of the Day," September 16, in Sarasota, Florida.
Received Gwendolyn S. Cherry Award from AAUW Miami Branch for contributions in the field of women's rights.
Publication of Unforgettable Memories, A Collection of Letters in India.
Nominated for the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Died on October 3l in Sarasota, Florida


4.771 linear feet (5 containers)


Professor of social work and social studies, founder and director of the Dehli School of Social Work, consultant for social work education, and YWCA official. The Elmina Lucke papers focus on her work abroad as educator, administrator, and consultant for social work. Materials include correspondence with former students and associates in Egypt, India, and Pakistan; photographs of her travels; speeches; writings, including an unpublished memoir; and a transcript and tapes of an oral history.


This collection is organized into five series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Professional Activities
  3. III. Writings and Speeches
  4. IV. Biographical Materials and Memorabilia
  5. V. Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers are a gift from Elmina Lucke. The first installment was received in February 1986 and additional materials have been received since then. After Ms. Lucke decided to place her papers in the Sophia Smith Collection, the Schlesinger Library transferred the portion of her memoir that had been on deposit there. Donations of correspondence and photographs have been received from Ross Lucke, Marilyn Brooks, and Marjorie Creelman.

Additional Formats

Selections from the Elmina Lucke Papers can be viewed in the Web exhibit "An Ever-Widening Circle of Friendship": YWCA Overseas Secretaries from China to Liberia.

Processing Information

Processed by Dorothy Green. Revised by Susan Boone, 1987.

Elmina Rose Lucke papers
Finding Aid
Dorothy Green, Susan Boone
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss41 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:18-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063