- Riverdale Children's Association (New York, N.Y.)
- Call number
- Sc MG 300
- Physical description
- 2 linear feet
- Preferred Citation
- Riverdale Children's Association Records, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Restricted access. Request access to this collection.Restrictions apply
The Riverdale Children's Association was founded by a group of Quakers in 1836 as the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York City, the first institution in the United States dedicated to the care of African American children. The Asylum organized its own school, as there were no public school facilities for orphans, and at age 12, the children were indentured to learn a trade. Members of the Board of Trustees were Protestant. The Asylum's facilities moved several times, and its second home at 42 Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was burned to the ground during the New York City Draft Riots in 1863. In 1918 children began to be placed in foster homes, and in 1944 the name was changed to Riverdale Children's Association when the majority of the children were not orphans but were neglected and dependent children. White children were also admitted at this time. The home is presently closed and the association now serves as a foster home placement agency. Records of the Riverdale Children's Association consist of registers listing names of children admitted, cause of admission, parents' names, name and address of individual who brought in the child, amount of payment person or city agreed to pay per week for board, tuition and clothing, and contagious diseases and immunization record. Some entries include whether the child was baptized, whether siblings were admitted, and discharge date and name of person taking responsibility for child. Registers cover the years 1889-1916, with discharge dates extending to 1925. Collection also contains admission and discharge registers which includes information on the disposition of the child, 1900-1914; scrapbooks containing news clippings, 1936-1957; and a centennial edition pamphlet of the history of the asylum, 1936.
Source of acquisitionGift, Riverdale Children's Association, 1989
- African American children -- New York (State) -- New York
- African American families
- Children -- Institutional care -- New York (State) -- New York
- Families -- New York (State) -- New York
- Orphanages -- New York (State) -- New York
- Orphans -- New York (State) -- New York
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801
Access to materialsRestricted access. Request access to this collection.
Access to register restricted.