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…

Police resistance, Passaic Textile Strike, 1926

American Labor Mus_Police resistance_Martin Winkler rsz.jpg

Martin Winkler of Garfield, New Jersey is arrested for resistance, after which he received a 10 day prison sentence.This event took place during the…

Pilgrimage of Prayer for Public Schools, January 1, 1959 [broadside]

VCU_M 306 Box2 f8 Pilgrimage of prayer for public schools 1959 rsz.jpg

Broadside advertising A Pilgrimage of Prayer for Public Schools, January 1, 1959 in Richmond, Va. At this event, organizers played a seven-minute…