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University Settlement House on New York's Lower East Side was set up in 1886 in an attempt to better living conditions of the city's immigrant poor. Settlement workers sponsored social and recreational programmes for residents of the Lower East Side tenements and pressed for legislative reforms to improve the quality of urban life.
The correspondence, publications and reports included in the microfilm edition of the University Settlement Society's Papers enable social historians to build up a detailed picture both of tenement life at the turn of the century, and of the Society's efforts towards reform.