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Series IV: Association For Improving The Condition Of The Poor
Series V: Charity Organization Society
Series VI: CSS Press Releases and Scrapbook, 1944-1970
Series VIII: Casework Files
Series XII: Bound Volumes
Series XIV: Files, 1939-1960
Series XVI: Historical Data, 1970 & Following
Series XVII: Files, 1970-1986
Series XVIII:Legal and Financial Matters, and H. Dogue Materials
At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 18 series, with one addition.
Correspondence, reports, memoranda, case records, photographs and printed material. The archive include central and district administrative records; cammittee correspondence and minutes; and files on the various programs--such as sheltered workshops, tuberculosis sanitariums and health centers, public baths and employment bureaus--run by the two organizations. The archive also contains hundreds of photographs, including works by Lewis Hine and Jessie Tarbox Beals; extensive casework files from the beginning of social work (originally referred to as "friendly visiting among the poor"); and copies of masters and doctoral theses from the New York School of Sociel Work and other schools. Much of the research for these theses was based on the CSS files
Among the major correspondence are: Jane Addams; Cornelius N. Bliss; Robert W. DeForest; Edward T. Devine; Irving Fisher; Homer Folks; Harry L. Hopkins; Florence Kelley; Paul U. Kellogg; Fiorello La Guardia; Josephine Shaw Lowell; Frances Perkins; Lawson Purdy; Jacob Riis; Beardsley Ruml; Alfred E. Smith; Lawrence Veiller; Lilliam Wald; and Alfred T. White.
Series XIV continues the files from the time of the merger in 1939 until 1960, and contains the same types of materials as the original gift; similarly, Series XV covers primarily the period from 1960-1970. Series XVI contains the additions to the files for the years 1970-1984, but there are also files for the period ca.1935-1969. Series XVII contains additions primarily for the period 1970-1986, but also contains some files for ca.1945-1969. Series XVIII contains legal and financial additions primarily for the period 1970 & following, and the files of H. Dogue.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site. The 2015 accession, boxes 1-102, is located at ReCAP.
General Director, Evaluation of His Performance (box 489); "Joey" Admission Records (box 494); Supplemental Security Income (box 509); Trustees, Study Data (box 541); and Special Administration Committee Meeting, Dec. 1951 (box 549) are: closed.
Readers must sign a special agreement form, kept in a folder at the Reference Center.
Box 424 is missing as of December 2021. kws
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
CSS strictly forbids the citing or quoting of the real names or addresses of family and individual cases, which appear in the casework files and throughout the entire collection.
Community Service Society photographs are restricted. Readers must use photocopies available at the Reference Desk. For the originals, consult the Curator of Manuscripts.
Material from casework files may not be photographed or photocopied.
No photographs or photocopies may be made of images in the Community Service Society Records.
Readers must use microfilm of materials specified above.
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Community Service Society records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Community Service Society Photographs, digitized photographs from the collection.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Alternate Form Available
Josephine Shaw Lowell letters; Interview book (Box 180); and Handbook for friendly visitors (Box 182); Index of New Cases, 1906-1908 (leger book) are on: microfilm.
Ownership and Custodial History
Gift of the Society, 1979, 1981, 1986& 1988.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Community Service Society. Method of acquisition--Gift, 1979-1988; Date of acquisition--1979. Accession number--M-1979-1988.
8 annual reports: Source of acquisition--CSS. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--12/04/1996. Accession number--M-96-12-04.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Entered in AMC 09/10/1990.
8 annual reports Processed HR 10/08/1998.
2009-06-26 File created.
2012-03-13 EAD created by PTL
2019-03-06 Description of bound volumes and oversize materials (Series XII and XIII) revised by Celeste Brewer.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2021-12-10 Expires restriction on box 424 lifted. kws
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
The Community Service Society, a large, private, New York City social service agency. The society was established in 1939 from a merger of the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor and the Charity Organization Society, whose separate files make up most of the collection.