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Community Service Society Archives, 1842-1995.

Summary Information

At a Glance

Title:Community Service Society Archives, 1842-1995.
Physical description:280 linear ft. (616 boxes; 123 bound volumes; 9 packages; 1 crate; 4 framed items (shelved at end of original collection and end of series II).
Language(s):In English



Scope and Content

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.

Series XVII: Files, 1970-1986

(Includes some material for the period, ca.1945-1969 also)

Series XVIII:Legal and Financial Matters, and H. Dogue Materials

Note: For a detailed list of contents of these Folders, see the following section "Folder Conte

Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

Available for faculty, students, and researchers engaged in scholarly or publication projects.

Box 424; 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.

Restrictions on Use

Material is open to use by qualified scholars, but 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 photocopied.

No photographs or photocopies may be made of images in the Community Service Society Records.

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Preferred Citation

Community Service Society Archives. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

Related Material

Community Service Society Photographs Online Exhibition: Photographs from the Community Service Society Records, 1900-1920

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Entered in AMC 09/10/1990

8 annual reports Processed 10/08/1998 HR

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 26, 2009

Finding aid written in English.

    2009-06-26 File created.
    2012-03-13 EAD created by PTL

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Annual reports.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Case files.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Addams, Jane, 1860-1935.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Beals, Jessie Tarbox.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bliss, Cornelius Newton, 1833-1911.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Charity Organization Society.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Child welfare workers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
De Forest, Robert W. (Robert Weeks), 1848-1931.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fisher, Irving, 1867-1947.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hine, Lewis Wickes, 1874-1940.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hopkins, Harry L. (Harry Lloyd), 1890-1946.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kellogg, Paul Underwood, 1879-1958.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kelly, Florence, 1859-1932.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
La Guardia, Fiorello H. (Fiorello Henry), 1882-1947.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York (N.Y.)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
New York Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Perkins, Frances, 1880-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public health.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public welfare.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Riis, Jacob A. (Jacob August), 1849-1914.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smith, Alfred Emanuel, 1873-1944.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Social problems.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Social workers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Veiller, Lawrence, 1872-1959.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wald, Lillian D., 1867-1940.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
White, Alfred Tredway, 1846-1921.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Women photographers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Women social workers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note


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.