The Social Welfare History Archives collects the records of private-sector social service and social reform organizations and the personal papers of individual leaders in the field. Researchers from all communities and disciplines are invited to contact the archives about using these materials.

Sources in the Archives document the history of social service and social reform, focused on the late nineteenth and twentieth century in the U.S.
Social services and concerns represented in the collections include: adoption, child welfare, citizenship, community arts, community organization and planning, family support services, group work, housing, immigration and migration, juvenile delinquency, poverty and unemployment assistance programs, public health, public social policy and public-private sector relationships, recreation and camping, senior services, settlement houses and community centers, sexual health, single parenting and services for single mothers, social casework and related counseling services, social work education and the social work profession, theories about charity and reform, and welfare rights and social justice movements. The Archives also houses an extensive collection of books, periodicals, pamphlets, reports and newsletters related to social work and reform.

The Archives is part of the Migration and Social Services Collections in the Archives and Special Collections Department.



Social Welfare History Archives staff are available for classes and presentations. Learn more about available instruction.

Did you know...

Did you know that funds are available to help you with your research? The University awards several Clarke Chambers Travel Fellowships every year to support travel to do research in the Social Welfare History Archives or the Kautz Family YMCA Archives. Click here for a full list of research scholarships and fellowships.

Happening Now

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Finding aids are online guides to selected historical records and papers in the SWHA.

Search all available finding aids for all archives & special collections at the University of Minnesota.

Images / Media

Search for digitzed images and other media from the SWHA.

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Search for cataloged books, journals, and records from the SWHA.

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