Very appropriate to follow on from last week’s blog about Octavia Hill, a successful housing and social reformer, a new collection guide about  Social Policy History has seen the light of day! My colleague Tundun and I have put together a guide for finding material in this very broad field of research. Relevant works can be found in any of our collections depending on what aspect of social policy is being looked at. To try and ease the process of locating material in collections mostly arranged by country we have included suggestions of useful search terms such as Public Welfare, Charitable uses, Discrimination and Literacy. Here is just a small selection of material for the social policy researcher.

In the German collection we hold works in a series of sources of the history of German Social policy 1867 till 1914 Quellensammlung zur Geschichte der deutschen Sozial politik 1867 bis 1914. It is an ongoing project and the plan is to acquire the complete set.

Closer to home in the British local collection there are a vast number of sources: Local initiatives of different charities, records of work houses and hospitals and local government implementation of poor relief to mention a few. One example is one of The Dugdale society’s latest publications about Poor Law Unions in Warwickshire 1834-1914. When it comes to government initiatives our comprehensive holdings of British Parliamentary Papers provide loads of material for research into the history of social policy.

  Going further back in time and further afield to the Austrian Local Collection we have recently acquired a “Beggar survey of the early modern Vienna” more precise Das Wiener Stadtzeichnerbuch 1678-1685 : ein Bettlerverzeichnis aus einer frühneuzeitlichen Stadt  Again the topic is poor relief but this time by charities.

Women’s Rights Demonstration, 13 November 1989, Duke University Archives

The American collection is particular rich on diaries and correspondence of political activists fighting for different causes in 20th century USA thereby trying to change the social policy of their time: Mari Sandoz’s correspondence for the Native Americans , Jim Crow and me : stories from my life as a civil rights lawyer memoirs of a lawyer in Alabama dealing with segregation and Remember my sacrifice : the autobiography of Clinton Clark, tenant farm organizer and early civil rights activist.

Please have a look at the guide and any of the other collections guides. Any comments or suggestions you are very welcome to contact us