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COLLECTION Identifier: 1375--73-155

Papers of Elizabeth Prince Rice, 1931-1969 (inclusive), 1948-1969 (bulk)


Photographs, reprints, conference papers, etc., of Elizabeth Prince Rice, educator and medical social worker.


  • Creation: 1931-1969
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1948-1969

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Elizabeth Prince Rice as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


2 linear feet (2 cartons)

Personal papers and photographs, professional papers, reprints, conference papers and lectures, largely relating to her career at the Harvard School of Public Health, 1948-1967.


Elizabeth Prince Rice, educator and medical social worker, was born in 1900 in Brighton, Massachusetts, the daughter of Dr. Frederick W. and Jesse (Prince) Rice. At Wellesley College she majored in history and worked at the Denison House, a Boston settlement house, and was graduated with an A.B. in 1921. She decided against a career in medicine, partly because her father, a physician, disapproved of women doctors. Instead she took graduate courses in sociology and economics at Radcliffe and earned an S.M. from the Simmons College School of Social Work in 1923.

From 1923 to 1927 she was first a case worker and then Assistant Director of the Boston City Hospital; from 1927 to 1933 she was Director of Social Service at the Boston Dispensary. Invited to begin the social work program at Yale, she was successively Assistant Professor of the Social Aspects of Nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, Director of Social Service at New Haven Hospital, and Clinical Professor of the Social Aspects of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine. In l948, she became the first professional social worker to be appointed to the Harvard School of Public Health. She left New Haven for Boston to devote more time to teaching in the public health field, and also to be near her mother, who was still living in Brighton and was ill.

Rice served as assistant, later associate, professor of Medical Social Work until her retirement in 1967. She also taught at Boston College School of Education in 1960 and 1965.

In June 1967, the American Public Health Association honored Rice's "unusual achievement in the field of maternal and child health" by presenting her with the Martha May Eliot Award. Rice's major innovations in the field of public health included the development of social service departments in hospitals and introducing social work techniques to physicians. Her research interests lay in studying the social factors influencing child health. As a professor, she developed and taught courses on the social service structure in hospitals and the interrelationship of health and welfare services. She was a popular professor, tutor, and advisor. Her book Guide for Referral of Families to Community Health and Social Agencies was published in 1965.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1375, 73-155

The papers of Elizabeth Prince Rice were given to the Schlesinger Library by Elizabeth Prince Rice in May l968 and December l973.


  1. Carton 1: 2-23
  2. Carton 2: 22-44

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: March 1987

By: Jane S. Knowles

Rice, Elizabeth P. (Elizabeth Prince). Papers of Elizabeth Prince Rice, 1931-1969 (inclusive), 1948-1969 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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