Community and Service Organizations

Friends Housing Cooperative, Inc. records, 1948-2009 (Temple University Libraries Special Collections Resource Center): Two Quaker Organizations concerned about urban housing, The American Friends Service Committee and the Friends Neighborhood Guild (FNG) formed the Friends “self-help” Corporation (now called the Friends Housing Cooperative, Inc.) in 1952. The collection, consisting of three linear feet, covers the time period from 1948 to 2009, with the bulk of the materials dating from 2001 to 2009. Materials include correspondence; administrative, legal and financial records; and information regarding membership, projects and publications.
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Friends Neighborhood Guild Activities

Friends Neighborhood Guild Activities

Friends Neighborhood Guild records (Temple University Urban Archives):  The Friends Neighborhood Guild social settlement was founded by Quakers in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia in 1879; its mission, “…to serve and respond to the needs of the people in its community, particularly those people who are less able to help themselves,” (FNG, p.3). Throughout its more-than-hundred-year history, this mission has guided the Guild’s programs, which have evolved to meet its ever-changing constituents’ needs. At different times, its work has focused on education, Americanization, recreation, housing, community organization and other areas of social need. The Friends Neighborhood Guild records date from 1903 to 2004, with the bulk of materials dating from the second half of the twentieth-century. The records evidence the social programs and activities of the Guild, as well as its relationships with other agencies, such as the Greater Philadelphia Federation of Settlements, Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the United Way. In addition to general administrative records, financial records, meeting minutes and subject files, there is a nice collection of candid snapshots and scrapbooks, documenting Guild activities and its neighborhood from the 1950s to 1960s. Researchers interested in the history of settlement houses and social welfare programs, or in the history of the Northern Liberties/Kensington neighborhoods of Philadelphia during the twentieth century would find this collection useful.
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Mt. Airy Community

Mt. Airy Community

Germantown Settlement records, 1946-1994 (Temple University Urban Archives):  Germantown Settlement was founded in 1934, when two existing social welfare agencies, Morton Street Day Nursery and Working People’s Aid, Inc. and Germantown Community Center merged. Like most settlements, it provided wide-ranging services to its community, including child care, educational and vocational instruction, and classes in art and music. In the 1950s and 1960s, it also worked closely with city agencies to facilitate urban renewal in the Morton neighborhood, while at the same time encouraging community participation and empowerment. The Germantown Settlement collection houses the records of this social welfare organization from 1946 to 1994, with a majority of the material dating from 1970 to the early 1990s. The collection contains business records, correspondence, financial documents and program files. Taken together, the records evidence Germantown Settlement’s efforts to assist and generally improve the lives of Germantown residents, particularly the youth and elderly populations, fight crime and eradicate urban blight. While the collection does not offer exhaustive documentation of the Settlement or any of its program, the records do enable an overall understanding of the organization, its programs and the overarching issues of its community. There is some documentation of the general administration of the Settlement, especially its leadership and finances, as well as its relationship with other social welfare agencies.
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League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records, 1867-1988 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania): The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania was established in 1920 as a successor organization to the Pennsylvania Woman Suffrage Association, with the purpose of providing “education to increase the effectiveness of women voters and to further better government.” The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania records document the history of this organization from 1867 to 1980, however, the bulk of the material dates from 1959 to 1977. The majority of the materials consist of minutes, newsletters, reports and memorabilia; however, there is a small amount of early material, particularly relating to the suffrage movement. Of particular interest may be the photographs of the 1915 Women’s Liberty Bell Tour in support of the vote.

Your Right to Vote ...

Your Right to Vote ...

League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records, 1920-1984 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania): The League of Women Voters (LWV) was established in 1919, to help educate women on the civic responsibilities of voting. In addition to its primary focus of educating the public during elections, the LWV quickly extended its program, taking positions on several national issues, especially the legal status of women; foreign policy, like the institution of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan; as well as the on-going debate over the taxation of margarine. Locally, chapters were involved in public issues such as child care, city management, housing, public education and public health. The Philadelphia chapter communicated with the national and state League organizations, politicians, civic leaders, and organizations. The League of Women Voters of Philadelphia records include administrative documents and organizational papers for the Philadelphia branch of the League of Women Voters. The collection, which dates from 1920 to 1984, consists of materials from the national, state, and local branches of LWV. In particular, there are financial records, membership lists, publications, program materials, meeting minutes, correspondence and memoranda, newspaper clipping scrapbooks, and audiovisual materials. These records document the organization’s administration as well as its outreach activities, and document the development of an important women’s rights organization with a strong commitment to educating women on political issues and the importance of voting.
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