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MC 203

Massachusetts Society for Social Health. Records of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health, 1915-1965: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

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Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 203
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Massachusetts Society for Social Health
Title: Records of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health, 1915-1965
Date(s): 1915-1965
Quantity: 3.75 linear feet (9 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Minutes, reports, correspondence, etc., of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 958
The records of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in 1965 by Louise O. Tilden.

Processing Information:

Processed: March, 1974
By: LH

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the Massachusetts Society for Social Health as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Massachusetts Society for Social Health Records, 1915-1965; item description, dates. MC 203, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

BIOGRAPHY

The Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene, founded in 1911 and incorporated in 1915, worked to "help people understand and manage sex in its relation to health, good citizenship, marriage, parenthood and family life." In the early years the Society focused on medical and protective measures to combat venereal diseases but in 1928 reorganized to put greater emphasis on educational activities. Through counseling and discussion groups, lectures, a library and visual aids the Society offered information on marriage and family life, as well as on venereal diseases. Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene also worked toward the elimination of prostitution and pornography for "the maintenance of wholesome community life and the protection of youth." The Society was affiliated with the American Social Hygiene Association (later the American Social Health Association) and in 1962 followed the lead of the parent organization by changing its name to the Massachusetts Society for Social Health.
Many Bostonians served the Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene as officers, on the Executive Committee and on the Board of Directors. Dorothy W. Miller was Executive Secretary for 22 years (1936-1958) and Maida H. Solomon was vice-president for 28 years (1928-1956). Presidents include:
Other Executive Secretaries (later Executive Directors) include:
Among the many prominent members of the Board of Directors were Dr. Nicholas J. Fiumara, Miriam Van Waters and Eva Whiting White.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

Except for the charter of incorporation (1915) and a few publications, there are no records of the Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene before 1928. The minutes of the Executive Committee and the reports of the Executive Secretary from 1928 through the 1950s provide the most thorough information about the Society; other papers describe its educational activities. Although most of these activities were centered in metropolitan Boston, the Western Branch was active in western Massachusetts. Some of its papers, as well as some of the American Social Health Association, are included in this collection.

CONTAINER LIST

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Family life education
Health education
Homosexuality
Marriage counseling
Memoranda
Minutes
Pornography
Prisoners
Prostitution
Sex instruction
Sexual health
Sexually transmitted diseases
American Social Health Association
Dearborn, Lester W.
Family Service Association of Greater Boston
Fiumara, Nicholas J., 1912-2012
Massachusetts Reformatory for Women (Sherborn, Mass.)
Miller, Dorothy W.
National Council on Family Relations
Solomon, Maida H., (Maida Herman), 1891-1988
Van Waters, Miriam, 1887-1974
White, Eva Whiting, 1880-1974

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