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About the Project

The history of social welfare in America draws very heavily from the innovations, experiences, programs, and policies that began in New York State. Several collections within the Cornell Library document these policies, programs and practices. Similarly, documentation regarding social welfare and mutual aid among African Americans is also found in these collections. A faculty grant to establish a digital library collection and to advance e-scholarship was awarded to Professor Josephine A. Allen who sought to facilitate her students' research and study of both the history of social welfare policies and programs and the history of social work in America. By extension, it was her aim to explore, identify, organize, digitize in some instances and link existing digital collections in others, many of Cornell University Library's resources in these areas for the use of researchers globally.

This digital collection will also draw on and contribute significantly to interdisciplinary scholarship. In addition, its impact will be enhanced by interweaving and demonstrating the relevance of this social welfare in America collection to a large number of resources in other collections within the Cornell University Library, including its digital library with specific links to the Making of America, New York State Historical Literature Collection, Ezra Cornell Materials, Core Historical Literature in Agriculture, the HEARTH site, the Anti-Slavery and Civil War Collections, the Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection. Also, drawn upon is the Rudin Collection, and the online exhibit entitled, "I will be heard! Abolitionism in America both for the Division of Rare and Manuscripts web site. .