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Travelers Aid Family Services of Boston records

 Collection
Identifier: M187

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the activities of Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) from the 1890s to the 1990s. It includes administrative records of TAFS, including governing documents such as the articles of incorporation and by-laws. The collection also includes annual reports, annual meeting minutes, records of the Board of Directors, committee records, casework documentation, correspondence, financial records, memoranda, policies, public service announcements, financial records, records of the volunteer program, and TAFS newsletters. Also included in the collection are subject files related to issues of importance to TAFS, such as homelessness, runaways, travel tips, immigration, and social services. Additional materials include as well as memorabilia, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Of particular note are the materials documenting the various services provided by TAFS, including the Puerto Rican Entering and Settling Service (PRESS), the Transportation Assistance Program, the Vietnamese Resettlement Program, and the Young Travelers Aid Society. Also of note are the records of the shelters run by TAFS. Also of interest are two folders of historical material about TAFS.

Dates

  • 1891-2008 (bulk 1930-1995)

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access:

Client-specific files, such as case files, are restricted for 75 years from their date of creation.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Historical Note

Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) was established in 1916 as a result of increasing awareness of the need to provide services for the vast numbers of immigrants coming to the United States through Boston. TAFS also provided assistance to transient women coming to Boston seeking employment and to children traveling alone. In 1920, TAFS was formally incorporated as the Travelers Aid Society of Boston. At this time, the focus of TAFS was to provide assistance to immigrants in securing housing, employment, and transportation.

In subsequent years, TAFS's mission expanded in response to societal needs and began offering services to a wide variety of people in need, including servicemen, wartime brides, and refugees after WWI, WWII, and the Korean War; runaways during the Great Depression; and migrant workers arriving from the South. In 1958, TAFS's mission was "to provide information, advice, guidance, and protection to all travelers, who by reason of unfamiliarity with the city, inexperience, unemployment, illness, infirmity, or other disability are in need of assistance or adjustment to the community." In the early 1970s, TAFS also became involved in helping low-income Boston residents relocate.

In more recent years, rising rates of homelessness in Boston have led to another shift in focus; TAFS has established homeless shelters and emergency shelters and currently provides services to increase homelessness prevention efforts and create affordable housing in the city. The current mission of TAFS is to "prevent and end homelessness, one family at a time" by using a multifaceted approach that "focuses on the individual strengths of each family and provide services to meet their unique needs."

Chronology

  • 1916 Travelers Aid Society of Boston founded
  • 1917 Travelers Aid Association of America founded
  • 1920 Travelers Aid Society of Boston formally incorporated
  • 1970 Biennial Convention
  • 1985 Travelers Aid Society International founded
1916
Travelers Aid Society of Boston founded
1917
Travelers Aid Association of America founded
1920
Travelers Aid Society of Boston formally incorporated
1970
Biennial Convention
1985
Travelers Aid Society International founded

Extent

12.55 cubic feet (15 containers)

Overview

Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) was established in 1916 as a result of increasing awareness of the need to provide services for the vast numbers of immigrants coming to the United States. In 1920, TAFS was formally incorporated as the Travelers Aid Society of Boston. In 1958, TAFS's mission was "to provide information, advice, guidance, and protection to all travelers, who by reason of unfamiliarity with the city, inexperience, unemployment, illness, infirmity, or other disability are in need of assistance or adjustment to the community." In more recent years, TAFS has established homeless shelters and emergency shelters, and TAFS currently provides services to increase homelessness prevention efforts and create affordable housing in Boston. The current mission of TAFS is to "prevent and end homelessness, one family at a time."

Overview

This collection documents the activities of Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) from the 1890s to the 1990s. It includes administrative records of TAFS, including governing documents such as the articles of incorporation, and by-laws. The collection also includes annual reports, annual meeting minutes, records of the Board of Directors, committee records, casework documentation, correspondence, financial records, memoranda, policies, public service announcements, financial records, records of the volunteer program, and TAFS newsletters. Also included in the collection are subject files related to issues of importance to TAFS, such as homelessness, runaways, travel tips, immigration, and social services. Additional materials include memorabilia, photographs, and scrapbooks. Of particular note are the materials documenting the various services provided by TAFS, including the Puerto Rican Entering and Settling Service (PRESS), the Transportation Assistance Program, the Vietnamese Resettlement Program, and the Young Travelers Aid Society. Also of note are the records of the shelters run by TAFS.

System of Arrangement:

The collection is arranged into three series: 1. Administrative Materials, 2. Subject Files, and 3. Memorabilia and Audiovisual Materials.

Technical Access:

There is a 2" quad reel of public service announcements for which the Library does not have playback equipment.

Physical Location

55/4, 56/3

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gift of Travelers Aid Family Services, June 27, 2011.

Appraisal, Destruction, and Scheduling Information:

Six panels from an exhibit about TAFS were scanned and discarded due to mold. They are currently available electronically.

Bibliography

  • "By-Laws." (1958). Travelers Aid Family Services (M187). University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. Box 3, folder 10.
  • Landrigan, Jeanne M. (Dec. 1994). "Travelers Aid Historical Records." Travelers Aid Family Services (M187). University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Department, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. Control file.
  • Travelers Aid Family Services (2012). Our History. Retrieved from http://www.tafsboston.org/AboutUs/OurHistory.aspx. Accessed 11 January 2013.
  • Travelers Aid Family Services (2012). Our Mission. Retrieved from http://www.tafsboston.org/AboutUs/OurMission.aspx. Accessed 11 January 2013.
Title
Finding aid for the Travelers Aid Family Services Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Abigail Cramer
Date
January 2013
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US