Albion Woodbury Small

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Albion Woodbury Small
Albion Woodbury Small.png
10th President of Colby College
In office
Preceded byGeorge Dana Boardman Pepper
Succeeded byBeniah Longley Whitman
Personal details
Born(1854-05-11)May 11, 1854
Buckfield, Maine
DiedFebruary 12, 1926(1926-02-12) (aged 71)
Chicago, Illinois
Alma materPh.D., 1889, Johns Hopkins University
ProfessionFounder of the School of Social Science at the University of Chicago

Albion Woodbury Small (May 11, 1854 – March 24, 1926) founded the first independent Department of Sociology in the United States at the University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois in 1892. He was influential in the establishment of sociology as a valid field of academic study.[1]

Small was born in Buckfield, Maine and grew up in Bangor, Maine. He studied theology from 1876 to 1879 at the Andover Newton Theological School. From 1879 to 1881 he studied at the University of Leipzig and the University of Berlin in Germany history, social economics and politics.[2]

From 1888 to 1889 he studied history at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and was promoted in 1889 with a Ph.D. thesis (The Beginnings of American Nationality) at the same time continuing to teach at Colby College. From 1889-1892 he was the 10th President of Colby.

In 1892 he founded the first Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He chaired this department for over 30 years. In 1894 he, along with George E. Vincent, published the first textbook in sociology: An introduction to the study of society. In 1895 he established the American Journal of Sociology. From 1905 to 1925 he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Literature at the University of Chicago.


  • An Introduction to the Study of Society (1894)
  • General Sociology (1905)
  • Adam Smith and Modern Sociology (1907)
  • The Cameralists (1909)
  • The Meaning of the Social Sciences (1910)
  • Between Eras: From Capitalism to Democracy (1913)

Albion Woodbury Small was a brother of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Xi chapter).

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Barnes, Harry Elmer. "The Place of Albion Woodbury Small in Modern Sociology quick view," American Journal of Sociology (1926) 32#1 pp. 15-44. accessed at

Further reading[edit]

  • Morrione, Thomas J. (1967). The early life and works of Albion Woodbury Small. University of New Hampshire. OCLC 6381217.

External links[edit]