Explore the history of American social reform and social services 

The Social Welfare History Image Portal brings together photographs, pamphlets, artifacts and documents chronicling the history of the nation's response to human need. This history includes the work of volunteer organizations, reform movements, social workers, and government legislation and systems.

Featured Items

Neighborhood House Sabbath School Class, 1921

Beth Ahabah_Neighborhood House Sabbath School Class 1921 ages 8-9 rsz.jpg

Photograph of children ages 8 - 9 in the Neighborhood House Sabbath School, Richmond, VA. Taken in 1921.In the early 1900’s, non-resident settlement…

Americans Do Not Practice What They Preach [1963 Farmville, Va. protests]

VCU_Americans Do Not Practice What They Preach_Farmville Safeway 1963 alt rsz.jpg

Protestor outside Safeway, Farmville Shopping Center, August 1963.Demonstrators carry signs opposing racial segregation, and encouraging shoppers to…

Suffrage Rally, May 1, 1915, Richmond, Va. [photographs]

VCU_M 9 Box 239 ESL of Va suffrage rally Capitol Square near the Washington Monumnent May 1 1915 rsz.jpg

These photographs document a suffrage rally held on the south portico of the Virginia Capitol on May 1, 1915. Dr. E. N. Calisch, rabbi of Congregation…