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

Annual Report of the Refuge in the City of Boston and the Bethesda Society, 1912 [selected pages]

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This document details information regarding the Refuge's and the Bethesda Society’s yearly financial expenses, donations, and membership, while also…

Oration: True Americanism

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Pamphlet of speech delivered by Louis Brandeis at Fanueil Hall, Boston on July 5, 1915 in which he addresses the ideals and traditions he views as…

American Federation of Labor Song

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Illustrated title page in blue, white and black with the seal of the American Federation of Labor and 4 small scenes of a printer, machinist,…