California Social Work Hall of Distinction: A Force for Positive Social Change

About the California Social Welfare Archives (CSWA)

CSWA Mission 

The mission of the CSWA remains “to collect, preserve, and make accessible documents and personal histories that illuminate the emergence of social issues and problems in the fields of health and welfare in California as well as the solutions developed in response.”
CSWA achieves its mission by: 

Accessing the Archives

CSWA is the only archival collection west of the Mississippi devoted exclusively to social welfare issues. It contains correspondence, minutes, memoranda, annual reports, research papers, conference proceedings, oral histories, and newsletters of California social welfare and related organizations which have reflected in their programs the development of social welfare programs, problems, issues, and services in the State. It also contains the personal papers of social workers or social work lay or civic leaders who participated in the emergence of social programs, public or private. Included in the collection are documents illustrating the roles of philanthropic groups and, especially, those depicting the history of marginalized groups as providers and consumers of mainstream social welfare services, as well as their experience in developing and using their own community services through, for example, benevolent societies and religious groups. 

The Archives are accessible to social workers, researchers, historians, policy makers and students and anyone seeking to examine connections between the past and present in order to learn from history and inform understanding of contemporary and future problems and potential solutions. 

CSWA collections may be consulted on the campus of the University of Southern California, in the Doheny Memorial Library, Special Collections.

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