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MC 287

New York House and School of Industry. Vocational Training Project. Records of the New York House and School of Industry Vocational Training Project, 1950-1961: 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


These papers were processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, #RC 24669-76-987.

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 287
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: New York House and School of Industry: Vocational Training Project
Title: Records of the New York House and School of Industry Vocational Training Project, 1950-1961
Date(s): 1950-1961
Quantity: 1.04 linear feet (2+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 oversize folder, 2 folio+ folders)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Administration and research records, survey questionnaires, student data, etc., of the Vocational Training Project of the New York House and School of Industry, a refresher program for older women with previous secretarial training and experience.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 74-325, 75-68
The records of the New York House and School of Industry: Vocational Training Project were donated to the Schlesinger Library in 1974 and 1975 by Dorothy Warren.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 1979
By: Kathleen Marquis

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research, but folders 9-12, 20-38, folio+ folder 2, and oversize folder 1o may not be photocopied. Names and other identifying information in these file units may not be copied or published.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the New York House and School of Industry Vocational Training Project is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

New York House and School of Industry. Vocational Training Project. Records, 1950-1961; item description, dates. MC 287, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

SEPARATION RECORD

The following items have been removed from the collection and depositeed in the Schlesinger Library subject files, April 1980:

HISTORY

The Vocational Training Project (1952-1954) of the New York House and School of Industry was a refresher program designed for older women with previous secretarial training and experience. The Vocational Training Project was proposed and administered by Dorothy Warren, director of the New York House and School of Industry, an agency begun in 1851 to provide needlework skills and employment for immigrant women.
In 1951 the New York House and School of Industry merged with Greenwich House, a settlement house in Greenwich Village begun in 1902. With the approval of the director of Greenwich House, Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, the Vocational Training Project became the primary function of the New York House and School of Industry. Trainees were referred to the Vocational Training Project from three New York City agencies: the New York State Employment Service, the Federation Employment Service (of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies) and the Archdiocesan Vocational Service. An average of 53 years old, the 225 women trained by the Vocational Training Project enrolled in typing and shorthand classes taught by instructor Esther Berrue. The project emphasized the building of trainees' confidence in their abilities and maturity in order to counter employers' age discrimination. After a maximum of eight weeks of instruction, each trainee was referred back to the employment agency, which, according to the trainees' reports, found employment for over 80%. Those who found jobs left before the end of the eight weeks. In 1953, the Women's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor included the Vocational Training Project in its survey report, Older Women as Office Workers.
Though Dorothy Warren resigned in 1954, Greenwich House continued the training program until 1957, at which time it was discontinued due to a decrease in registration. Through student records and questionnaires, Warren compiled statistical and personal data about Vocational Training Project trainees. For several years she tried unsuccessfully to find sponsorship for research on these data. She also tried to secure sponsorship for programs similar in purpose to the Vocational Training Project, again without success.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The records (1950-1961) of the Vocational Training Project of the New York House and School of Industry are divided into two series:
Series I, Administration and Research, outlines the development and direction of the Vocational Training Project by Dorothy Warren from 1950 to 1954, as well as follow-up research based on survey questionnaires and student data. Publicity files and research data are fairly complete, but correspondence, financial records, personnel files, and reports are almost entirely lacking. These files were probably kept with the general records of Greenwich House. Also included are correspondence and reports (1955-1961, n.d.) concerning Dorothy Warren's attempts to establish a similar project, separate from Greenwich House, most frequently called the Senior Vocational Clinic.
Series II, Student Records, consists of correspondence, applications, record cards and tests of students applying to and enrolled in the Vocational Training Project, 1952-1954. When read with the questionnaires in Series I, these provide a fairly complete record of the composition of the Vocational Training Project student body during this period.
In addition to these records of the Vocational Training Project of the New York House and School of Industry, bound annual reports of the New York House and School of Industry for the period 1866-1871, 1874-1900 are at Columbia University. Partial records for 1868-1954, including scattered minutes and annual reports are at the New-York Historical Society (see list in inventory folder in Box 1).

CONTAINER LIST

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Age and employment
Employment agencies
Occupational retraining
Questionnaires
Secretaries
Secretaries--Training of
Women--Employment
Miller, Frieda S.
Greenwich House (New York, N.Y.)
Leopold, Alice K., 1906-1982
United States. Women's Bureau
Warren, Dorothy, 1905-2008
Women's Educational and Industrial Union (Boston, Mass.)

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