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 is part of the Migration and Social Services Collections in the Archives and Special Collections Department.Professor Clarke Chambers looking at ledgers and boxes of documents.


The Archives' mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to historical records on social services and social reform in the United States. 


The Social Welfare History Archives was founded in 1964 through the work of University of Minnesota historian, Clarke Chambers. During his research on social service organizations, he discovered that many still had historical records. He recognized the research potential of these collections and established the Archives to document the history of social service and social reform in the United States.

Contact Information

Social Welfare History Archives
Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 21st Avenue South, Suite 320
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Phone: (612) 624-6394
Fax: (612) 624-4848

Contact the Archives to make an appointment at least 2 business days before you plan to visit.