Archives and Special Collections are open by appointment only, limited to UMN affiliates. Appointments must be made one week in advance of your visit. Contact or the curator of the collecting area you wish to use for assistance. We continue to provide scans of requested research materials when possible, especially for our non-campus clientele.

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.

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 (ASC).


Archival collection guides

Archival collection guides, or 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.

Search for digitzed images and other media from the SWHA.

Search all digitized media in the UMedia Archive.

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

Search all cataloged items at the University of Minnesota.


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. View the full list of research scholarships and fellowships.

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