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New Social Welfare History Image Portal launches

October 11, 2017

The Social Welfare History Image Portal is now online and ready for you to explore. The site presents archival materials related to the history of social reform and social welfare in the United States. Included are photographs, pamphlets, placards, handbills and comics pages drawn from the collections of numerousparticipating institutions.

In addition to single items, the Image Portal containsDiscovery Sets -- curated groups of items that serve as a starting place for research with primary sources. Sets focus on suffrage, temperance, the kindergarten movement and more.

The history of social welfare encompasses many volunteer and professional activities that have sought to improve the common good. Social welfare history is profoundly interdisciplinary, looking at many, often conflicting, ideas of community and community responsibility, as well as ongoing discussions of our national identity.

The Image Portal is a collaborative project based at Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, Richmond, Va. Every image links back to the archive or museum where it can be found. The Image Portal is a companion toThe Social Welfare History Project, a website that provides articles and essays about these topics.

Inaugural partners are:

  • Baylor University Libraries, Waco, Texas

  • Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives, Richmond, Va.

  • Simmons College Libraries, Boston

  • Union Presbyterian Seminary Library, Richmond, Va.

  • University of Mary Washington Libraries, Fredericksburg, Va.

  • University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis

  • The Valentine, Richmond, Va.

  • VCU Libraries, Richmond, Va.

Collaborative project seeks partners

If you have questions or suggestions for a discovery set, or would like to learn more about becoming a partner institution, please contact VCU Libraries at The project manager, Alice W. Campbell, digital outreach and special projects librarian, can be reached at (804) 828-7934.

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