Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Title:United South End Settlements records
Dates:1891-2010 (bulk 1980-2005)
Call Number:M126

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the history of United South End Settlements prior to 1960, specifically the formation of the Federation of South End Settlements and the creation of the Children's Art Centre. Documentation includes the reasons for and actions taken by the head workers of the settlement houses and the Children's Art Centre to form the Federation of South End Settlements, as well as the purpose of establishing a children's museum in the South End. (Box 1). Records date from 1892-1963 and include the minutes of the South End Planning Group, the Federation's directors meetings, and correspondence to and from the South End Area Planning Group regarding the implications of the Community Fund survey and possible action plans (Boxes 1-2). Records also include meeting minutes of the Museum Settlement Association; annual reports of the Children's Art Centre from 1922-1963, and annual report précises from 1915-1959 (Box 1); by-laws of Andover, Hale, and Lincoln House; scrapbooks; and annual reports of the South End House (Boxes 1-2).

Records from 1960-2010 document United South End Settlement's efforts to provide safe, accessible spaces where residents of the South End and Lower Roxbury gathered for recreational, cultural, and educational activities. United South End settlements' role in urban renewal, particularly in the Castle Square area, and in developing economic opportunities during the 1960s and 1970s is also documented (Boxes 5-6, 58-59, 47, 64, and 76). Topics include the history of settlement houses in Boston's South End, urban renewal, housing and neighborhood development (Boxes 69-71, and 75) non-profit social service delivery. In addition, oral histories of several residents describing the history and culture of the South End from the 1920s-1990s, and the role of the settlement houses, in particular the South End House and United South End Settlements are also included (Box 79) and community organizing (Boxes 35, 39, 58, and 71). Other topics documented include adult education and employment training, children's art education, services to the elderly, the creation of a children's fine arts museum, residential and day camp programming, and minority artists and art exhibits. An extensive collection of images documents the South End neighborhood from 1900-1990s, including 20 Union Street and South Bay Union. Also included are photographs of programs, such as the Poland Springs Caddy Camp, flower delivery by children to neighborhood shut-ins (Boxes 78 and 82-83), and the summer camps at Wellesley, Massachusetts, Brenton Woods, New Hampshire, and Camp Hale, in Squam, New Hampshire (Boxes 82-83). The collection contains meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, proposals, grants and contracts, financial statements, budgets, audits, newspaper clippings, program descriptions, property descriptions, artwork, photographs and slides, scrapbooks, VHS and MiniDV cassettes, and DVDs. Materials not found in the collection include the book, The Zone of Emergence, by Robert Woods and Albert Kennedy. This is, however, located in Snell's general stacks (LC HN80B7K4 1969). Also missing are Board of Directors meeting minutes for February 1961-November 1965, April 1966-December 1967, April 1971-November 1971, January and March December 1972, 1973, January September 1974, and December 1979.