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Ellen Churchill Semple papers, 1900-1932

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


Ellen Churchill Semple papers




University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Ellen Churchill Semple papers, 1900-1932, 1M46M139, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


78 volumes, 84 pieces


Geographer, writer, teacher. Born in Louisville in 1863, Semple attended Vasser graduating in 1883. She spent some years teaching in Louisville while studying independently for a Master's Degree, which she received from Vasser in 1891. She then studied at the University of Leipzig under the renowned Friedrich Ratzel, 1891-1892, the only female student among five hundred men. After leaving Leipzig, Semple published numerous articles in scholarly journals, mainly on the subject of anthrogeography, the study of the effect of geographic conditions on the history of mankind. After publishing her first book in 1903, Semple continued to write and to travel in order to conduct research, in addition to holding lectureships at the University of Chicago, Wellesley, and the University of California at Los Angeles. She joined the faculty of Clark University in 1921 where she taught until 1928.

Scope and Content

These are materials connected with the writings of Ellen Churchill Semple. Present are manuscripts and notes for three influential books: AMERICAN HISTORY AND ITS GEOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS; INFLUENCES OF GEOGRAPHIC ENVIRONMENT; THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE MEDITERRANEAN REGION. Also included are reprints of some of Semple's articles, notes for articles, a scrapbook containing newsclippings about Semple and reviews of her books, photographs, and maps. Present also are Semple's academic gown, academic hood, and two gold medals: one the Collum Geographic Medal awarded in 1914 by the American Geographical Society of New York, and the other, the Helen Culver Medal, awarded her by the Geographic Society of Chicago in 1931. Also included is a biographical sketch of Semple by Ruth E. Baugh, a fellow geologist.


  • Semple, Ellen Churchill, 1863-1932.
  • Baulig, Henri.
  • Bowman, Isaiah, 1878-1950.
  • Colby, Charles Carlyle, 1884-
  • Cole, Fay-Cooper, b. 1881.
  • De Geer, Sten, 1886-
  • Ekblaw, Walter Elmer, 1882-
  • Goode, Paul.
  • Greg, E. W.
  • Hubertson, N. V.
  • Huntington, Ellsworth, 1876-1947.
  • Leiper, Mary L.
  • Maritone, P. de.
  • Mayer, William R.
  • Newbigin, Marion J.
  • Ratzel, Friedrich, 1844-1904.
  • Risbeth, O. H. T.
  • Shallos, J. P.
  • Whittlesey, Derwent Stainthorpe, 1890-1956.
  • Human geography--United States.
  • Historical geography.
  • Women scholars.
  • Mediterranean Sea--Historical geography.
  • Awards.
  • Clippings.
  • Memorabilia.
  • Maps.
  • Photoprints.
  • Scrapbooks

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.