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Social Welfare History Archives


The Social Welfare History Archives (SWHA) documents the history of human services, social issues, and the social work profession.  

The Archives is part of the Migration and Social Services Collections in the Archives and Special Collections Department (ASC) at the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Researchers from all communities and disciplines are invited to contact the archives about using these materials.

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Collection guides
Archival collection guides, or finding aids, are online guides to selected historical records and papers in the Social Welfare History Archives.
Images and more
Search for digitized images and other media from the Social Welfare History Archives.
Libraries catalog
Search for cataloged books, journals, and records from the Social Welfare History Archives.

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History of the Social Welfare History Archives

The SWHA was founded in 1964 by University of Minnesota history professor, Clarke Chambers. While researching the history of social service organizations, he realized that their records documented communities and social issues that were often overlooked by historians. He recognized the importance of these resources and worked to locate and archive them. Over time, The SWHA developed into a national source of archival records on topics such as: social work, immigrant and working class communities, poverty and public health programs, youth and child welfare, unemployment, public assistance, and other social issues.

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