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History of Social Welfare Policies & Programs Up to the 1930s: Getting Started

This guide focuses on resources that you can use when seeking information on the history of social welfare policies and programs in the U.S. up to the 1930s.

Not sure where to start your research?

Articles in scholarly encyclopedias usually present a good overview of the topic and identify the current issues, approaches, and scholarship relating to that topic. Knowing the issues can help you focus your research on a particular aspect of a topic.

Getting Started

Encyclopedia of Social Work
New York, National Association of Social Workers and Oxford University Press.
Almost always a good place to begin your research. Over 700 lengthy signed articles with bibliographies on topics felt to be of particular relevance to social work; 200 brief biographies of key figures in the history of social work; and links to related social work resources. Many articles include a historical overview. Rutgers-restricted Access
Encyclopedia of Social Welfare History in North America.
John M. Herrick and Paul H. Stuart (eds.). Thousand Oakes, California: Sage Publications, 2005.
180 essays, most signed, on the people, topics, and organizations that were important to the development of social welfare policies, services, and institutions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Available? Rutgers-restricted Access