Scope and arrangement
The collection consists of correspondence, speeches, writings, and collateral papers documenting Wald's career in public health nursing and social work in New York City, her association with the Henry Street Settlement and the Visiting Nurse Service, and her many other social welfare concerns, such as child labor, housing, recreation, sanitation, peace, prohibition, and women's suffrage. The correspondence contains letters to and from Wald concerning the social conditions she encountered and sought to improve. Correspondents include friends, professional associates, government officials and well-known people in the U.S. and abroad. Other papers consist of speeches, articles and notes written by Wald; collateral materials which include articles and speeches by her colleagues in nursing and social work; letters she wrote during trips to the Orient in 1910 and to Russia in 1924; notes, minutes, reports, and printed matter from various conferences she attended; and miscellaneous biographical materials.
The Lillian D. Wald Papers are arranged in five series:
Contains materials relating to Wald's life and achievements. Also included are materials from various memorial services held in her honor and articles published after her death in 1940.
The correspondence is arranged into two subseries: A. Letters By, B. Letters Received.
The writings and speeches are arranged alphabetically by year and provide evidence of Wald's wide range of interests including education, industrial hygiene, infant mortality, labor reform, nursing, prohibition, sanitation, settlement work and unemployment. The series contains drafts and notes of lectures prepared by Wald for the first university program for the training of public health nurses established in 1910 at Teachers College of Columbia University. Organizations to which Wald presented speeches include the American Association for Labor Legislation, Children's Bureau, Consumers League, Crime Prevention Bureau, Foreign Policy Association and the National Confederation of Women's Clubs. The series also includes radio speeches and statements in honor of influential figures in the field of philanthropy and social reform.
Contains important miscellaneous materials collected by Wald during her lifetime. The series includes articles and speeches by her friends in nursing and social work and other materials that may have been influential in Wald's own ideas and development. There are notes and reports from national conferences and committees of organizations in which she was an active member. Important documents include an assemblage of papers from the Women's International Congress at the Hague in 1915, Woodrow Wilson's Industrial Conference of 1919 and the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection in 1930. Other materials cover the League of Red Cross Societies Medical Conference at Cannes in April 1919 where Wald was sent as the Federal Children's Bureau delegate. The American League to Abolish Capital Punishment, National Committee for Mental Hygiene, National Federation of Settlements, National Organization for Public Health Nursing, New York Urban League, New York Welfare Council and the People's Mandate to End War are but a few of the associations with associated ephemera in this series.
Includes extra documents on subjects related to Wald and the Henry Street Settlement. The guardianship files contain schoolwork, drawings, and correspondence regarding the intellectual development of foster children in the care of Henry Street. Other records include ephemera from birthday celebrations at Henry Street, and real estate records dealing with Wald's house in Westport, CT often referred to as House-on-the-Pond. The medical records relate to Wald's illness in the final years of her life. Four volumes include a European travel diary, address book, daily reminder, and Wald's personal copy of Matthew Arnold's Sweetness and Light. Two folders of additional correspondence were added to the collection in 1985 including letters to and from Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933 to 1939.