MS Am 2393
South End House (Boston, Mass.). South End House (Boston, Mass.) records, 1890-1950:
Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 2393
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: South End House (Boston, Mass.).
Title: South End House (Boston, Mass.) records,
Quantity: 1 collection (2.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Records of South End House, a settlement house in Boston (Mass.) begun by social reformer
Robert Archey Woods.
51M-337. Eleanor H. Woods, South End House, 20 Union Park, Boston 18, Massachusetts; received: 1952 April.
66M-194. United South End Settlements, 20 Union Park, Boston, Massachusetts 02118; received: 1966 March 31.
2010M-78 (80a). Gift of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute; received: 2011 March 3.
Processed by: Melanie Wisner
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the
Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton
Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies
South End House (Boston, Mass.) Records, 1890-1950 (MS Am 2393). Houghton Library,
Related collections are held by:
- Harvard University Archives: Harvard University. President's Office. Records of the
President of Harvard University, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1909-1933 (UAI 5.160)
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN: Social Welfare History Archives
- Simmons College Archives, Boston, MA: South End House Association records
- Northeastern University Libraries, Boston, MA: United South End Settlements records
- Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Special Collections:
Arthur A. and Sidney N. Shurcliff papers.
Most printed material removed and cataloged separately; consult HOLLIS.
Robert Archey Woods, born in Pittsburgh (Pa.) in 1865, attended Amherst College in
Amherst (Mass.) and Andover Theological Seminary in Andover (Mass.). Influenced at Andover by Professor William Jewett Tucker's "social economics", in 1890 Woods spent six months at Toynbee Hall in the East End of London, a settlement project begun in 1884 to bring the privileged
and the poor to live together for mutual benefit and education. Woods returned to
the U.S. in 1891, chosen by Professor Tucker to head Boston's first settlement house
(fifth in the country) under the auspices of Tucker's newly-formed South End House
Tucker described the settlement house movement as "...religious, but the method...educational
rather than evangelistic," focusing on the neighborhood as the cornerstone of social
well-being and promoting "prevention, not cure." The South End House Association undertook
reform of health, sanitation, education, and working conditions through investigations,
published reports, legislative reform, and direct involvement of staff in the lives
In the winter of 1892, Woods and others opened Andover House (renamed South End House
in 1895) at 6 Rollins Street in the South End (Boston, Mass.),in Eleanor Woods's words "...the most considerable working-class district of Boston,
within easy reach of the poorest locality in the heart of the city...". Multiple men's
and women's residences were established over time.
Woods served as president of the South End Social Union and its successor, the Boston Social Union, an alliance of settlement houses offering a multitude of neighborhood activities,
including gardening, entertainments, sports, festivals, and exhibits. Among these
projects were: the South End House Industry,begun in 1923 to provide employment for women of the "lodging-house district" making
and selling rugs; the South End Music School, established in 1910; "caddy camps", notably atBretton Woods (N.H.), allowing boys to earn money caddying at golf clubs; and summer country convalescence
programs for city children, notably at Winning Farm in Lexington (Mass.). It also maintained a legislation committee.
Woods was instrumental in the development of professional social work and its employment
of the social survey to document urban conditions. He lectured and published widely,
serving in leadership positions nationally. In Boston he served on the Excise Board
and Licensing Board.
Woods married Eleanor Howard Bush in Cambridge in 1902; he died in February 1925.
Arranged in six series:
- I. Correspondence
- II. Compositions by Robert Archey Woods and others
- III. South End House and South End House Association records
- ___A. Financial
- ___B. Activities
- ___C. Scrapbooks
- IV. South Bay Sorosis records
- V. Robert Archey Woods obituaries and memorials
- VI. Printed material
These records were retained by Eleanor Woods, Robert Archey Woods's wife, after his
death. Types of material present include correspondence, essays, financial records,
scrapbooks, photographs, and print.
The records primarily document activities of the House and Association but also include
records of the South Bay Sorosis and incidental records for related Boston organizations.
There is little personal material for Robert Archey Woods, but many of his writings
on the settlement movement and broader social conditions are present in draft and
final form. Most unsigned material is presumed to be have been written by him.
This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions
below for additional information.
- Series: III. South End House and South End House Association records
- A. Financial
- (47). Balance sheets, budget, and miscellaneous, 1917-1923. 1 folders
Includes statements prepared by James A. Lowell, treasurer; Price, Waterhouse & Co.; and a budget prepared by Wendell H. Marden.
- (48). Fundraising correspondence, ca.1921-1924. 1 folders
Arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Correspondents include J. P. (John Pierpont) Morgan, Mrs. J. Montgomery Sears, and other financial notables.
- (49). Planning documents, ca. 1912-1922 and undated. 1 folders
Includes 5-year and other plans, and statements concerning building extensions, endowment,
- (50). Printed financial statements, 1898-1923. 1 folders
- (51). South End House Association cash book B, 1901-1989. 1 folders
- (52). "South End House twenty-fifth anniversary fund of $125,000 to provide for the larger
work of its second quarter century, "ca. 1917. 2 folders
Statement prepared, with other material, to present to potential donors.
- a list of books by residents of the house
- "Facts about the district "
- "South End House - its various centres"
- a hand-drawn map by Woods of the South End district
- maps of the district with explanatory text
- printed pictures of three South End House Association buildings
- a prepared booklet, most of the decayed original photocopied and discarded; several
financial statements relative to the fund and floor plans for a new recreation hall and club rooms remain.
- B. Reports
- (53). Andover House Association. "Report of the work of the house at the end of the first official year, " 1892. 1 folders
- (54). Club meeting notes, 1895 Jan. 28.
Includes notes on restaurants and various services to be offered to working men.
- (55). Events, 1918-1921. 1 folders
Includes dated listings and printed ephemera on weekly and otherwise recurring events.
- (56). Project lists for the houses, 1905. 1 folders
- (57). South End House fellowships, ca. 1923-1941. 1 folders
Includes pamphlets and clippings, chiefly concerning a fellowship to benefit Amherst men and one granted to two Harvard University graduates.
- (58). South End House room registry: reports and charts, 1912-1918 and undated. 1 folders
Includes charts detailing numbers of applicants, those placed, commissions, and expenses,
and reports by Eleanor Woods (one titled "The room registry: its function and value) . "
- (59). Winning Farm Camp, Lexington (Mass.) , ca. 1898-1918. 1 folders
Includes a copy of William Henry Winning's will bequeathing his home land for the establishment of an home for destitute children;
financial statements; and activity summaries.
- (60). Women's residence summaries, 1906 and undated. 1 folders
Includes summary of summer work for 1903-1906.
- (61). Woods, Robert Archey, 1865-1925. Statements on the aims and future for South End House, ca. 1908-1922. 1 folders
Some material delivered at annual meetings.
- C. Scrapbooks
Scope and Contents: Types of material present in scrapbooks include: correspondence, photographs, drawings, printed and hand-made greeting cards, pamphlets and booklets of various organizations and individuals, newspaper clippings, financial statements, notes, and printed announcements, invitations, memorabilia, pamphlets, programs, and receipts. Signfiicant compositions or other materials are noted.
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically according to the earliest material found in the volume; scrapbooks
- (63). Scrapbook, ca. 1903-1916. 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes material from the Boston Social Union Athletic League, Bretton Woods Camp,Free Montessori School of Boston, Leapyear Club, and South Bay Union. A Montessori school leaflet includes photographs of children outside.
- (64). Scrapbook, ca. 1906-1909. 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes material from the Alcott Club, South Bay Union, and the South Bay Union Dramatic Club. Mentions Winning Farm, Lexington (Mass.) , and includes detailed schedules of Christmas events.
- (65). Scrapbook, ca. 1909-1912. 1 v. in 1 folder
Covers Feb. 1909 to May 1912. Organizations represented include the Leapyear Club, 1915 Social Club, Winning Farm in Lexington (Mass.) , Bretton Associates, South End Music School (with its by-laws) , and various girls' clubs. Also includes material concerning gardening. Includes photographs:
- children outdoors at a 1910 summer school pageant
- the 1915 Social Club meeting at Winning Farm in 1911
- group portrait of children
- group portrait of boys employed as caddies at the Bretton Woods Golf Club.
- (66). Scrapbook, ca. 1910-1921. 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes printed announcements and invitations for the 20th anniversaries of South
End House Association and South End House itself.
- (67). Scrapbook, ca. 1912-1917. 1 v. in 1 folder
Organizations represented include the South Bay Union Garden Club and Little Sunshine Club.
- (68). Scrapbook, 1914-1927. 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes material relating to the National Conference of Social Work (U.S.) ; the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers; Intersettlement Players of Boston and South End Players,two theatrical groups; and the South End House Industry. Includes a certificate appointing Esther G. Barrows an authorized agent of the U.S. Treasury Dept. for 1919 for the sale of U.S. war-savings certificate stamps and U.S. Thrift stamps;
and Boston political candidates' advertisements.
- (69). Scrapbook, ca. 1915-1917. 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes letters to Mary L. Strong; photographs of girls at a camp; a report to the Women's Education Association on the first Montessori school in Boston (possibly known as Corner House, at 23 Newland Street) ; and material from the South End Girls' Club.
- Series: IV. South Bay Sorosis records
Biographical / Historical: Organized in May 1907, the group promoted social exchange among women's clubs of the
South Bay area with a focus on the district's welfare. Eleanor H. Woods served as secretary from 1907 to 1915. It was a member of the Massachusetts State Federation of Women's Clubs and held meetings at the South Bay Union three times annually.
- (70). Bylaws (administrative records) and minutes, 1 v. in 1 folder
Includes an inserted obituary for secretary Ellen F. Blood.
- (71). Bylaws (administrative records) and minutes, 1 v. in 1 folder
- (72). Bylaws (administrative records) and minutes, 1 v. in 1 folder
With inserted group photographs from garden parties, a poem by W. W. McKenna to the Sorosis Club on their 30th anniversary, and a coin donation card in support
of fight against poliomyelitis. With additional loose photographs and a summary of
the organization included in folder.
- (73). Fatherless Children of France (Organization). Boston Committee. Correspondence concerning children sponsored by South Bay Sorosis, 1 folders
Removed from a bylaws volume where it was inserted. Two children are named in the
correspondence: Raymonde Hollande, and Marcel Viard.
- (74). Toynbee Hall Emphasis Week Committee. Letter to South Bay Sorosis Club with flier (printed matter), 1 folders
Removed from a by-laws volume. The Committee was a member of the Greater Boston Community Fund.
- Series: V. Printed material
- (75). Andover House Association. Circulars (fliers) 1893. 1 folders
- (76). Boston Social Union. Bulletins, annual reports, and ephemera, 1911-1918. 1 folders
- (77). Clippings and miscellaneous. 1 folders
Includes a scrap of writing found within but seemingly unrelated to the collection.
- (78). Offprints by others. 1 folders
- Albert, Allen D. (Allen Diehl), b. 1874. "South End House : a visit by Allen D. Albert, "ca. 1923. Includes detail of all the buildings and specific programs noting number of participants.
- Committee on Industrial Education. "Report, "1907.
- Estabrook, Harold Kelsey. "Some slums in Boston, "1898.
- Home for Aged Men (Boston, Mass.) . "Eighty-ninth annual report, "1950.
- National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers."Bulletin, "1922.
- National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers."Digest of topics of social action, 1911-1937, "1937.
- National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers."The round table, "1954. With a note by Woods.
- New York Association of Neighborhood Workers and Boston Social Union. "First inter-city settlement conference, "1913.
- Sanborn, Alvin. A study of beggars and their lodgings, 1895. Andover House bulletin no. 7.
- Tucker, William Jewett, 1839-1926. "The progress of the social conscience, "before 1917.
- Tucker, William Jewett, 1839-1926. "Twenty-five years 'in residence', "1917.
- (79). South Bay Union. Bulletin, 1912 Oct. 1 folders
- (80). South End House Association. Reports, 1891-1921. 16 v. in 7 folders
First volume present (15th annual report) covers 1892-1907, followed by individual
volumes through 1921. Last volume is titled: South End House; its thirtieth year 1891-1921.
- (80a). South End House Association. The South End House : 1934 April. 1 folders
- (81). South End Improvement Society. South End almanac, 1923. 1 folders
- (82). Woods, Robert Archey, 1865-1925. Appointments, obituaries, and memorial notices, 1925. 1 folders
- (83). Woods, Robert Archey, 1865-1925. Offprints and prospectuses. 1 folders
- "Americans in process "
- "Amherst in missions, old and new"
- "China and the internationalism of social work"
- "The city and its local community life"
- "The city wilderness"
- "Democracy a new unfolding of human power"
- "Families and neighborhoods"
- "Notes about prohibition from the background "
- "The prevention of inebriety: community action"
- "Prohibition and social hygiene"
- "The regimentation of the free "
- "South End House : a university settlement"
- "University settlements : their point and drift"
- "The vice problem in Boston"
- "The world empire of the disinterested "
- "Young working girls"