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"The publication of the microfilm edition of the Children's Bureau records is an important event for scholars of women, the family and the welfare state." Molly Ladd-Taylor American Civilization Program, Brown University
Though the Children's Bureau is one of the least well-known federal agencies, its records provide one of the richest sources for an understanding of twentieth-century American society.
Founded in 1912 as part of the federal government's new commitment to promoting individual and family welfare, the Children's Bureau played an active role in the design and administration of many important social welfare measures including the 1921 Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act to reduce infant mortality and the campaign to reduce child labor in the 1930s.
The Bureau's voluminous records, including correspondence, research reports, radio scripts, brochures, bills and laws, court hearings and speeches, represent the largest and most important collection of primary material for the study of the family and the health and wellbeing of children in the twentieth century. Not only do the documents enable researchers to trace the various stages of Federal involvement in the welfare of children and the development of family law, they also throw a fascinating light on the way welfare policies affected ordinary women.
Microfilm 294 reels
Also available in parts:
Part 1 Child Welfare
Part 2 Child Legislation
Part 3 Children's Bureau History
Part 4 Maternal and Child Health
Part 5 Children's Bureau Merritt Files
Part 6 Children's Bureau Chiefs' Files
Guide: The Children's Bureau: Documentary Sources from the National Archives
ISBN 0 89887 079 8