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MC 591; Vt-158

South Boston Neighborhood House. Records of the South Boston Neighborhood House, 1861-1996 (inclusive), 1940-1980 (bulk): 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 591; Vt-158
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: South Boston Neighborhood House
Title: Records of the South Boston Neighborhood House, 1861-1996 (inclusive), 1940-1980 (bulk).
Date(s): 1861-1996
Date(s): 1940-1980
Quantity: 7.51 linear feet (18 file boxes) plus 2 folio + folders, 1 supersize folder, 1 folio + volume, 22 photograph folders, 2 folio photograph folders, 1 oversize photograph folder, 142 slides, 1 glass photograph, 1 videotape, and electronic records)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, minutes, annual reports, deeds, programs, financial records, newsletters and other publications, press releases, photographs, a videotape, and clippings, etc., of the South Boston Neighborhood House.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 97-M1
The records of the South Boston Neighborhood House were given to the Schlesinger Library by the South Boston Neighborhood House in 1997.

Processing Information:

Processed: July 2009
By: Emilyn L. Brown

Access Restrictions:

Researchers must sign a special permission form to use the collection. Folders #9.3-#9.7 are closed until January 1, 2034; folder #12.3 is closed until January 1, 2080; and folder #13.1 is closed until January 1, 2077. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by the South Boston Neighborhood House 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. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Records of the South Boston Neighborhood House, 1861-1996; item description, dates. MC 591, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

History

The South Boston Neighborhood House was founded as a day nursery for young children in 1901. The collection traces the organization's development from a nursery to a traditional neighborhood settlement house and ultimately to a private, non-profit, multi-service center. The following chronology offers a brief history of South Boston Neighborhood House accomplishments.

Chronology

Chronology

ARRANGEMENT

The collection is arranged in nine series:

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The records of the South Boston Neighborhood House (South Boston Neighborhood House) span 135 years, from 1861 to 1996. The records provide a strong history of leadership, highlighting the contributions made by women in the settlement movement as founders, benefactors, and property owners. The organizational structure of South Boston Neighborhood House, and its impact on the South Boston community are also documented in the records. The archivist created the arrangement and folder headings for this collection.
Series I, HISTORY AND ORGANIZATION, 1861-1993, n.d. (#1.1-1.19), documents South Boston Neighborhood House history, the development and expansion of its organizational structure, and its property holdings as a result of Olivia Buckminster James's bequest.
Subseries A, History, ca.1912-1993, n.d. (#1.1-1.11), includes correspondence, speeches, obituaries, biographical essays, and notes documenting the history of South Boston Neighborhood House. The folders are arranged chronologically. See also Series VIII (Photographs and oversized materials).
Subseries B, Organization, 1907-1983, n.d. (#1.12-1.16), contains articles of incorporation, correspondence, certificates for organizational name change, and restated articles of organization. These documents highlight South Boston Neighborhood House's internal structure and the critical role it played in program development and expansion. The folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Legal papers, 1861-1982 (#1.17-1.19), includes correspondence, mortgages, warranty deeds, and schematic drawings related to property expansion and renovations. Items of interest include deeds dating from the pre-Civil War era. The folders are arranged chronologically.
Series II, ADMINISTRATION, 1931-1996, n.d. (#2.1-7.6, Vt-158.1), includes correspondence, by-laws, annual reports, and minutes documenting meetings held by the board of directors, annual meetings of the corporation, and the South Boston Neighborhood House house council. Although there is overlapping information in the records, they trace the development and growth of South Boston Neighborhood House from a local nursery to a private, non-profit organization, highlight the formation of partnerships within the South Boston community, and document the expansion of the board of directors to include residents from the South Boston area. Photographs of board members, annual meetings, and other events are contained in Series VIII ( Photographs and oversized materials).
Subseries A, Board of directors, 1931-1996, n.d. (#2.1-4.9), contains bound volumes and folders that include minutes and reports from the president, treasurer, and various committees. Also included are lists of officers and members of the corporation, a relatively small amount of correspondence, and minutes from annual meetings. With the exception of the two earliest volumes containing minutes from 1931 to 1937 and 1937 to 1957, all other volumes have been dismantled and are organized chronologically.
Subseries B, Executive committee, 1970-1996 (#7.1-7.6), contains minutes and quarterly reports from all South Boston Neighborhood House committees. The executive committee, which included officers of the board, was responsible for carrying out board functions between meetings. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Annual reports, 1940-1991 (#5.1-5.5), contains a relatively small number of published annual reports, which include statements of cash receipts and disbursements from the operating fund, statistical data related to South Boston Neighborhood House members, and details concerning programs, special events, accomplishments, and goals. The folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries D, Annual meetings of the corporation, 1932-1995 (#5.6-6.7, Vt-158.1), includes minutes; announcements; memoranda; voting proxies and correspondence relating to decisions made by members of the corporation, including the election of new board members and voting on revisions and amendments to the by-laws at special meetings. Annual meetings often included social dinners, lectures, and holiday programs and award ceremonies. The folders are arranged chronologically.
SERIES III, COMMITTEE FILES, 1947-1995 (#7.7-8.8), contains minutes, correspondence, budget material, quarterly reports, proposals, and memoranda. Appointed by the board of directors, South Boston Neighborhood House committees were responsible for a broad range of administrative and programming functions. Because of their relationship to the board some committee files include minutes from board and annual meetings. Committees with comparable functions have been grouped together by the archivist.
Subseries A, Program committee, 1977-1985 (#7.7-7.10), contains minutes, correspondence, and proposals used for evaluating, developing and implementing South Boston Neighborhood House programs. The folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries B, Fundraising, budget, and finance committees, 1980-1989 (#7.11-7.12), includes minutes, financial analysis of proposals, details for capital campaigns and long-range plans for obtaining federal, state, local, and private grants. Responsibilities of the budget and finance committees included preparation of yearly budgets, and advising the fundraising committee about yearly financial needs. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Board membership, organization, and nominating committees, 1970-1982 (#8.1-8.2), contains memoranda, by-laws, and reports concerning members of the board and corporation. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries D, Personnel committee, 1960-1995 (#8.3-8.5), contains memoranda, job descriptions, lists of South Boston Neighborhood House personnel, resumes, minutes, correspondence, policies and procedures. Responsibilities of the committee included the hiring of new employees, evaluation of staff performance, and conducting hearings for staff grievances. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries E, House council and miscellaneous committees, 1947-1961 (#8.6-8.8), contains planning records for the South Boston Neighborhood House golden anniversary and reports generated by the committee on expansion of the Olivia James House. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series IV, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 1952-1994 (#8.9-8.12), includes multi-lingual letters welcoming new members to the South Boston community, fundraising solicitations, and memoranda pertaining to South Boston Neighborhood House programs. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series V, FINANCIAL RECORDS, 1958-1993, n.d. (#9.1-11.5), contains some records that overlap with the fundraising, budget and finance committees described in Series III, Subseries B. However, this series also provides a more detailed look at the cost of daily operations, the funding needs of existing programs, and the cost of implementing new programs and collaborative projects.
Subseries A, Operating expenses, 1961-1982 (#9.1-9.6), contains treasurers' reports, summaries of expenses, program audits, and projected expenses for new programs. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries B, Fundraising activities, 1963-1992 (#9.7-9.13), contains records relating to fundraising events and programs, and the efforts of the Friends of the South Boston Neighborhood House, a local group providing financial support. Photographs of some fundraising events can be found in Series VIII (Photographs and oversized material). Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Proposals and grants, 1958-1993, n.d. (#10.1-11.5), includes reports and proposals that highlight the collaborative projects which South Boston Neighborhood House formed with the West Broadway Task Force, the students of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and other organizations. Also included is correspondence and memoranda involving major foundations that include the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and proposals for new programs in South Boston. Of special interest is a proposal related to the reorganization of the South Boston Neighborhood House board of directors. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series VI, PROGRAMS, 1940-1995, n.d. (#11.6-13.5), documents a broad range of activities, programs, and annual events which South Boston Neighborhood House has maintained and adapted over the years in response to changing trends. Long-range planning needs for various services are also documented in reports and regional studies of local residents, including facility expansion, program development, and outreach efforts. Photographs of the various activities, programs and events can be found in Series VIII (Photographs and oversized materials).
Subseries A, Activities and annual events, 1940-1995, n.d. (#11.6-12.6), includes early yearbooks, program announcements, event flyers, tickets, invitations, children's crafts, signage, and a bumper sticker. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries B, Reports, regional studies, and collaborative programs, 1959-1992, n.d. (#12.7-13.5), includes social service reports, maps, planning guides, demographic studies, a needs assessment survey, and various proposals for grant-funded programs. Highlights include the planning and implementation of a cultural and ethnic program with the Student Activities Committee of the University of Massachusetts, a job-readiness program, the South Boston Dispute Settlement Project, and a GED adult education program. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series VII, PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLICITY, 1901-1994, n.d. (#13.6-15.15, E.1), documents the various ways that South Boston Neighborhood House promoted its services to the community. Additional publicity can be found in Series IX (Clippings).
Subseries A, Newsletters, 1940-1994, n.d. (#13.6-13.11), contains newsletters that provide insight into South Boston Neighborhood House activities, programs, annual events, and history. The newsletters underwent stylistic changes and had several name changes over the years, including The James House Herald, The Ollie Chronicle, and the South Boston Neighborhood House. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries B, Press releases and related, 1971-1990, n.d. (#13.12-14.8), contains press releases, letters to the editor, advertisements for employment at South Boston Neighborhood House, feature articles, and general public announcements published in local newspapers. Photographs that correspond to these events can be found in Series VIII (Photographs and oversized materials). Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries C, Reference files, 1901-1989, n.d. (#15.1-15.7), contains book reviews, area profiles, articles and pamphlets about the history of settlements, the impact of school desegregation in South Boston, and the War on Poverty programs. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Subseries D, Publicity, 1958-1992 (#15.8-15.15, E.1), includes publications, booklets, and reports promoting the accomplishments of South Boston Neighborhood House. The South Boston Neighborhood House web site is being captured periodically as part of Harvard University Library's Web Archive Collection service (WAX); searchable archived versions of the web site will be available through this finding aid in 2010. Folders are arranged chronologically.
Series VIII, PHOTOGRAPHS AND OVERSIZED MATERIALS, 1861-1994, n.d. (#PD.1z-PD.28, F+D.1-F+D.2, SD.1), consists of photographs and oversized material arranged by format as two subseries.
Subseries A, Photographs, 1922-1991, n.d. (#PD.1z-PD.28), includes photographs and contact sheets depicting South Boston Neighborhood House programs and events, contrasting views of the South Boston Neighborhood House, the South Boston neighborhood, and South Boston Neighborhood House staff members. Highlights include a milk glass photograph of an unidentified child, photographs of Ellerton James and Marian J. Homans, who played a critical role in South Boston Neighborhood House's early history, and the Mothers' Club, which assisted the neighborhood's poor.
Subseries B, Oversized materials, 1861-1994, n.d. (#F+D.1-F+D.2, SD.1), consists of oversized items transferred from other series, including photographs, mortgages, deeds, and floor plans and blueprints illustrating the renovations made to the East 7th Street property.
Series IX, CLIPPINGS, 1926-1996, n.d. (#16.1-17.9), contains a substantial number of clippings documenting South Boston Neighborhood House annual events, programs, and accomplishments.
Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Adult education--Massachusetts--Boston
Advertisements
Amateur theater
Americanization
Annual reports
Architectural drawings
Athletic clubs--Massachusetts--Boston
Articles of incorporation
Awards
Blueprints
Boston (Mass.)--Social conditions
Business records
Busing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston
By-laws
Camps--Massachusetts
Citizenship--Study and teaching--United States
Clubs--Massachusetts--Boston
Community centers--Massachusetts--Boston
Day care centers--Activity programs--United States
Deeds
Electronic records
Ethnic neighborhoods--Massachusetts--Boston
Family day care--Activity programs--Massachusetts
Financial records
Fliers
Home economics--Study and teaching--Massachusetts--Boston
Immigrants--Economic conditions--20th century
Immigrants--Education--Massachusetts--Boston
Immigrants--Family relationships
Immigrants--Massachusetts--Boston--Social conditions--20th century
Legal documents
Minutes
Mortgages
Older people--Services for--Massachusetts
Photographs
Social work with immigrants--Massachusetts--Boston
Social settlements--Massachusetts--Boston
Social workers--Massachusetts--Boston
South Boston (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions
Teenagers--Massachusetts--Boston--Societies and clubs
Videotapes
Web sites
Women social workers--Massachusetts--Boston
Women volunteers in social service--Massachusetts--Boston
Homans, Marian J.
James, Olivia Buckminister
Olivia James House (South Boston, Mass.)

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