Records, 1909-1985.


Records, 1909-1985.

The manuscipt collection of the Housing Association of Delaware Valley documents many aspects of the history of the Philadelphia metropolitan area from 1909 through 1985. The Association consistantly maintained that housing problems and policies were intimately related to the city's social conditions and physical evolution. Hence, aside from providing a comprehensive account of housing, its manuscript records from the sanitary problems of the 1910s to the neighborhood struggles against expressways in the 1980s. The Archives has 241 cubic feet of records. Of this total, there are about 5 cubic feet for the years 1909-1916, 5 cubic feet for 1917-1920, 5 cubic feet for the 1920s, 8 cubic feet for the 1930s and 8 cubic feet for the 1940s. The paper explosion of the post-World War II era generated 210 cubic feet for the years 1951-1985. There are Board of Directors minutes from the organizing meeting in 1909 to 1968, and 1970 to 1973. The annual reports of the Association from 1912 to 1943 (called "Housing in Philadelphia," 1917-1943) were substantial reports documenting not only its work, but also Philadelphia's housing in general. From 1943 to 1967 there was a regular publication called "Issues," which appeared severaltime a year and served the same function as "Housing in Philadelphia." Finally, there are annual reports for the years 1966-1972, a publication entitled "Memorandum," 1965-1971 and a new magazine called "Infill" for the years 1972-1975. In addition to the minutes and reports, the Association collected data on a yearly basis for a number of housing characteristics such as construction, demolitions, dwelling units, rents, public housing units, sheriff sales, assessments, vacancies and numbers of builders. The data is richest for the years 1920 to 1960. There are, for example, lists of builders for every year from 1923 to 1938, construction totals by ward, 1900-1938, and by census tract, 1946-1964, and the worksheets forthe low income housing survey done by the W.P.A. in 1939. These three groups of records--minutes, reports and data--form the basis for any study of the work of the Housing Association. In the twenties a number of supplementary sets of files begin which continue over the next five decades. These records include 1) reports to and correspondence with both the social services co-ordinating body, the Council of Social Agencies, which became the Health and Welfare Council in 1947, and the co-operative fund raising Welfare Federation, which became the Community Fund, then the Community Chest and finally the United Fund; 2) financial records and budgets; 3) files relating to the Annual Meeting and 4) staff records. For the years 1921-1950 there is 1 cubic foot of financial records, 1/2 cubic foot of staff records and 1/2 cubic foot relating to the Annual Meetings. A somewhat larger amount of records covers these areas for the years 1951-1975. Since 1921 the Association has been almost entirely funded by the Welfare Federation and its successors, whose policies in turn have been developed by the Council of Social Agencies and then the Health and Welfare Council. There is about 1 cubic foot of relevent material for the years 1921-1946. From 1946 to 1975 there are about 5 cubic feet of records dealing with the Health and Welfare Council and 3 cubic feet dealing with the Community Chest/United Fund. These materials include reviews, reports,budget and policy analyses, statements and files relating to the activities of the agencies which were of concern to the Association, such as minutes of the North Central area groups of the Health and Welfare Council. There are 12 cubic feet of "mimeo books" covering the years 1948-1968. These books include all of the memoranda, logs, minutes, news releases, reports, notices, reprints, and publications eminating from any office or committee of the Association. They are in chronological order for each year.

Manuscripts: 241 c.f.Newspaper Clippings: 22 reels of microfilm, 6 c.f. f scrapbooks.Maps: 380 Sheets.Photographs: 1800 photographs, 600 glass slides.

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