Valentine Prichard papers, 1904-1942

Overview of the Collection

Prichard, Valentine, 1862-1951
Valentine Prichard papers
1904-1942 (inclusive)
0.9 cubic feet, (2 document cases)
Collection Number
Mss 1446
Papers of the director of the People's Institute of Portland, Oregon, a non-sectarian service organization for women and children. The collection contains organizational records, subject files, a small amount of correspondence, and papers written by Valentine Prichard.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Hattie Valentine Prichard was born in Massachusetts in 1862. She was educated at the Elgin Academy in Illinois and received a bachelor's degree in public health. She came to California in her 20s and eventually took courses in kindergarten teaching at the state Normal School in San Jose. She taught kindergarten in public schools, and eventually she came to Portland, where she was supervisor of the public school kindergartens and principal of a training school for kindergarten teachers at St. Helen's Hall. She became involved in local settlement work, and in 1902 presented a report to a group of prominent citizens regarding the miserable conditions of poor children in the city.

In response to the report, the People's Institute was established in 1904, largely under the auspices of the First Presbyterian Church, Caroline Ladd, and her daughter, Helen Ladd Corbett. A building for the institute was built at Fourth and Burnside streets, and branches in Albina and South Portland followed. The institute was inspired by such urban settlements as Hull House in Chicago, and its activities included a kindergarten, home economics classes, boys' and girls' clubs, musical groups, a library, bathing facilities, and an employment bureau for women. A free health care dispensary for women and children, eventually located at Fourth and Jefferson streets, was started in 1907, as an outgrowth of the institute's aid to victims of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In 1931, the activities of the dispensary were absorbed by the University of Oregon Medical School (later Oregon Health & Science University). After this date, the People's Institute continued its involvement through the People's Institute Auxiliary of the Medical School Clinic.

Valentine Prichard continued to be involved in civic and social work. She died in Beverly Hills, California, in 1951.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Papers of the director of the People's Institute of Portland, Oregon, a non-sectarian service organization for women and children, founded in 1904. Records of the People's Institute in the collection include correspondence, the organization's constitution, articles of incorporation, annual reports, meeting minutes, and subject files. Other papers in the collection include correspondence, autobiographical notes, speeches, and writings of Valentine Prichard, among them a piece titled "Origin and development of the Portland Free Dispensary."

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Valentine Prichard's "Origin and development of the Portland Free Dispensary" was distributed by the University of Oregon Medical School, Portland Child Guidance Extension, under the title "Origin and development of settlement work in Portland, including free medical work." Two copies are available at the Oregon Historical Society Research Library, call number 361.43 P947or.

Preferred Citation

Valentine Prichard papers, Mss 1446, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society owns the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The collection is arranged in two series:

  • Series 1: People's Institute records, 1904-1942
  • Series 2: Valentine Prichard papers, 1904-circa 1940

Acquisition Information

Gift of Reed College Library, February 1974 (Lib. Acc. 12836); typescript of "Origin and Development of the Portland Free Dispensary," gift of Frank W. Kaltt, May 1982 (Lib. Acc. 15953).


Valentine Prichard, "Origin and development of settlement work in Portland, including free medical work" (Portland: University of Oregon Medical School, Portland Child Guidance Extension, 1942).

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  People's Institute records, 1904-1942Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Historical notes
1 2
Constitution, incorporation, and other organizational records
circa 1904-1926
1 3
Annual reports
1 4
1 5
Subseries 1.1: Subject files
Box Folder
1 6
Boys' press club, The People's Institute Bugle, Boys' Club Albina--Letters and newspaper
1 7
Carnation Club
1 8
Church involvement
1 9
Color teaching
1 10
1 11
Correspondence, Board of County Commissioners
1 12
Correspondence, Public Schools
1 13
Correspondence, similar institutions
1912-1926; undated
1 14
Daughters of the American Revolution educational project
circa 1911-1914
1 15
Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children--Birthday celebration flyer and University of Oregon Medical School catalog
1 16
Equipment distribution
1 17
Financial support
circa 1905-1932
1 18
Fire relief
1 19
Free Dispensary annual reports
1 20
Hand loom weaving
circa 1911
2 1
History and other notes
2 2
Housing codes
2 3
Juvenile Court, Oregon State Board of Control
2 4
2 5
Laws and ordinances
2 6
Medical School and People's Institute Auxiliary
2 7
Mother's Club
1907-1918; undated
2 8
Normal Conference of Charities and Correction
1906; 1912
2 9
Newspaper article, "Who is my neighbor?"
2 10
Playgrounds and cooperation of librarians
2 11
Report of the readjustment of the work of the People's Institute
2 12
Reports and speeches (rough drafts)
1918; undated
2 13
Reports of classes and groups
2 14
Salary of the director
2 15
Summary outlines of People's Institute, and pamphlets
1907-circa 1918
2 16
South Portland Center
1914; undated
2 17
Various documents
Includes correspondence and photograph/postcard of group in front of the People's Institute South Center.
1905-1917; undated
2 18
War work
2 19
Women's Protective Bureau

Series 2:  Valentine Prichard papers, 1904-circa 1940Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
2 20
Autobiographical notes
circa 1940
2 21
Correspondence and other documents
2 22
Letters of recommendation
1904-1918; undated
Subseries 2.1: Papers and speeches
circa 1907-1918
Box Folder
2 23
"Mediaeval miniatures and illustrated manuscripts"
2 24
"Origin and development of the Portland Free Dispensary" (typescript, carbon)
2 25
"Settlement work"
2 26
"Social Service work"
2 27
"A social settlement of the west"
circa 1907
2 28
"Social settlement service"
2 29
"Suggestions for volunteer workers in social service"
2 30
"Suggestions to Big Sisters" and "Practical suggestions for Big Sisters"
1918; undated
2 31
"Training home service visitors"
2 32
"Volunteer social workers"
2 33
"The wider use of school buildings as social centers"

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Charities, Medical--Oregon--Portland
  • Social service--Oregon--Portland
  • Social settlements--Oregon--Portland

Personal Names

  • Prichard, Valentine, 1862-1951

Corporate Names

  • People's Institute (Portland, Or.)--History
  • People's Institute (Portland, Or.)--Records and correspondence

Form or Genre Terms

  • administrative records
  • correspondence

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • People's Institute (Portland, Or.) (creator)