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MC 418

Solomon, Maida H. (Maida Herman), 1891-1988. Papers of Maida Herman Solomon, 1901-1988: 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


The collection was processed with funds provided by the Littauer Foundation.

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 418
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Maida H. (Maida Herman) Solomon, 1891-1988
Title: Papers of Maida Herman Solomon, 1901-1988
Date(s): 1901-1988
Date(s): September 2009
Quantity: 13.97 linear feet (33+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder)
Language of materials: Materials in English and German.
Abstract: Correspondence, photos, course notes, of Maida Herman Solomon, psychiatric social worker.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 76-106, 76-285, 77-M121, 78-M15, 78-M46, 78-M235, 78-M238, 79-M43, 79-M57, 79-M96, 80-M47, 80-M67, 80-M100, 80-M190, 80-M215, 80-M249, 81-M95, 81-M146, 81-M202, 82-M153, 88-M109, 88-M134, 90-M181
This collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by Maida Herman Solomon beginning in April 1976. Addenda were received from Barbara Miller Solomon in July and September 1988 and from Babette Solomon Radner in November 1990.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 1992
By: Jane S. Knowles
Updated: September 2009
By: Stacey Flatt

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research with the following exceptions: folder #327 is closed until January 1, 2045, folder #329 is closed until January 1, 2048, and folders #404-405 are closed until January 1, 2053.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Maida Herman Solomon 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:

Maida Herman Solomon Papers, 1901-1988; item description, dates. MC 418, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

BIOGRAPHY

Maida Herman Solomon, pioneer psychiatric social worker and professor of psychiatric social work at Simmons College School of Social Work, was born in Boston, March 9, 1891, the daughter of Joseph Michael and Hennie (Adler) Herman. She was educated at public schools: the Prince School and the Boston Girls' Latin School, and then earned an A.B. from Smith College (1912) and an S.B. from Simmons College (1914.) She took one course at Portia School of Law in 1914. In 1916 she married Harry Caesar Solomon, a psychiatrist who was later Medical Director of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and in the 1960s commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.
Solomon began her career as research assistant at Civic Service House, a Boston settlement house, in 1914. She then joined the Boston Psychopathic Hospital (later Massachusetts Mental Health Center), where she worked as a fieldworker with families of neuro-syphilitic patients, 1916-1919, under Mary Jarrett, head social worker at Boston Psychopathic Hospital. From 1919 to 1934 while raising four children, she continued to work part-time as a consultant for the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and Massachusetts Psychiatric Institute. In 1934 Solomon joined the Simmons College School of Social Work as instructor, later professor, and was head of the Department of Psychiatric Social Work, 1942-1957. At Simmons she developed a graduate program integrating academic study with fieldwork practice.
In 1957, saying that she had "retired from Simmons College, but not from social work," Maida Herman Solomon continued to work as a consultant for the Massachusetts Mental Health Center and supervised a number of projects that made use of volunteers in the treatment of the mentally ill: at Metropolitan State Hospital, the Well-Met Project, Inc., of Harvard's Phillips Brooks House, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) programs at a number of Boston mental health institutions.
Solomon was active in many civic and professional organizations: she was a member of the Board (from 1926) and vice-president (1955) of Hecht House, a Jewish settlement house for girls founded by the Hebrew Ladies' Sewing Society which merged with the Young Men's Hebrew Association in 1959 and closed in 1970. She was a member of the Union Park Forum, a Jewish speakers' forum and of the Monday Lunch Club, an informal gathering of social workers. She was a charter member of the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers (ASPSW), was its first president, 1926-1928, and served on its education subcommittee, conducting a national survey of sychiatric Social Worker curricula, and chairing its Advisory Committee to the American Red Cross, 1940-1945. She was also active in the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers's successor organization, the National Association of Social Workers. She was the first chair of the Social Service Committee of Beth Israel Hospital, 1928-1938, vice-president of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health, member of the board of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, chair of the Budget Committee of the Boston Community Fund, member of the Citizens' Committee of the Boston Community Survey, and on the board of Rutland Corner House, a half-way house.
She was the author of numerous articles, contributor to Harry C. Solomon's Syphilis of the Innocent (1920), and co-author of Field of Social Work (1915), Prevention of Hospitalization (1963), Drug and Social Therapy in Chronic Schizophrenia (1965) and Adolescents in a Mental Hospital (1968). For a more complete biography, see Solomon's curriculum vitae in #3.
Solomon died on January 24, 1988, at the age of ninety-six.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

This collection consists of personal and professional records and is divided into the following four series:
Series I, Personal and early career (#1-62), contains clippings and tributes, photographs, personal correspondence with family, school, and college friends, 1901-1961, and course notes from Smith College and Portia Law School. The articles and reports of her early career include a report on the "boy problem" for Civic Service House, 1914-1917, and scattered papers from her work with neuro-syphilitic patients at Boston Psychopathic Hospital.
Series II, Professional associations (#63-305), consists of materials relating to Solomon's affiliations with social work organizations at the state and national level. The records of the American Association of Hospital Social Workers, the American Association of Social Workers, and other social work organizations document Solomon's efforts in the 1920s and 1930s to establish national standards for social work.
Records of the American Association of Psychiatric Social Work (American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers) include correspondence and questionnaires distributed by the Sub-Committee on Education to schools of social work throughout the country in an effort to develop national standards for curricula and field work in psychiatric social work. The records of a joint APA-American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers committee document an improved understanding between the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers, while those of a joint American Red Cross-American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers committee record the response of the profession to the wartime need for more psychiatric social workers. Materials of the Temporary Inter-Association Council describe the merger of many professional social work associations into the unified National Association of Social Workers.
Records of the Massachusetts Society for Social Health (formerly Massachusetts Society for Social Hygiene) relate to its efforts to prevent venereal disease and promote sex education, and those of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, to organize volunteer assistance in mental health clinics and hospitals. There are reports and minutes for Hecht House, a settlement house for Jewish girls, and its successor, the Hecht House-Young Men's Hebrew Association, scattered records of the Greater Boston Community Fund, minutes of a study group on children's health held under the auspices of the Council of Jewish Women, notes and correspondence of the Beth Israel Hospital Social Service Committee, speeches and other material from the Union Park Forum, a Jewish speakers' bureau, and lists of meetings of the Monday Lunch Group. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of organization or agency.
Series III, Research and consulting (#306-391, 400-412), includes the records of Solomon's post-retirement volunteer projects: clinical studies of the Metropolitan State Hospital's project for the treatment and rehabilitation of chronic schizophrenics; a research study of Rutland Corner House clients co-directed by Solomon; a study of volunteers employed by Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in various Boston mental health institutions; David Kantor's study of the use of college students as volunteers in mental institutions; and reports on Well-Met Project, Inc., a half-way house sponsored by Harvard's Phillips Brooks House. Folders #400-412 were added to the collection in September 2009 and placed intellectually within the inventory, however residing physically at the end of the collection.
Series IV, General correspondence (#392-399), includes correspondence relating to Simmons College School of Social Work and to professional associations; letters are arranged chronologically.
#400-412 were added later to the collection, from a subsequent accession and placed intellectually within the inventory, however reside physically at the end of the collection.

CONTAINER LIST

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Boston (Mass.)--Social conditions
Jewish women
Jews--Massachusetts--Boston
Medical rehabilitation
Paraprofessionals in social service
Psychiatric social work
Schools of social work
Sex instruction
Social service
Social work education
Social workers
Syphilis--Research
American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers
American Red Cross
Beth Israel Hospital (Boston, Mass.). Social Service Committee
Boston State Hospital (Boston, Mass.)
Cohen, Ethel, 1892-1977
Council of Jewish Women (Boston, Mass.)
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935
Hecht House (Boston, Mass.)
Kelley, Florence, 1859-1932
Massachusetts Association for Mental Health
Massachusetts Mental Health Center
Massachusetts Society for Social Health
National Association of Social Workers
Rutland Corner House (Boston, Mass.)
Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966
Simmons College (Boston, Mass.). School of Social Work
Smith College. Class of 1912
Smith College--Curricula
Szold, Henrietta, 1860-1945
Union Park Forum (Boston, Mass.)
United States. Veterans Administration
Volunteers in Service to America
Wise, Stephen Samuel, 1874-1949

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