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Blanche D. Coll papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0376
Blanche D. Coll (1916-2003) was an author and historian whose main area of research was the history of social welfare in the United States. Collection ranges in dates spanning 1908, the 1930s, and 1969 and consists of 26 photographs; two published volumes of Mary E. Richmond, a founder of modern social work; Coll's thesis; an oral history transcript; and four audio tapes.

Dates

  • 1900s
  • 1930s
  • 1969

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.51 Cubic Feet (1 letter half-size document box, 1 flat box (15.5 x 12 x 3 inches))

Biographical / Historical

Blanche D. Coll was an author and historian whose main area of research was the history of social welfare in the United States. Coll was born in Baltimore, MD, December 26, 1916. Her interest in social work began with her association (1935-1940) with the Family Welfare Association in Baltimore, a predecessor agency of the Family and Children's Services of Central MD. Many women associated with charity organization in Baltimore during the 1930s entered The Johns Hopkins University for courses in education and a program in social work. Coll received the bachelor's degree from Hopkins in 1943 and the MA degree in 1948. Following the completion of her academic work, Coll worked as a historian (1946-1979) for several goverment agencies including the U.S. Maritime Commission, the U.S. Army and the Corps of Engineers, and Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW - later the Department of Health and Human Services).

Coll's familiarity with relief work in Baltimore led her to write several articles related to local charities: "The Baltimore Society for the Prevention of Pauperism: 1820-1822" (American History Rev., Oct. 1955) and "The Baltimore Almshouse: An Early History" (MD Hist. Mag., Summer 1971). Her published volumes include Perspectives in Public Welfare: A History (1970) and Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979 (1995).

Scope and Contents

Collection ranges in dates spanning 1908, the 1930s, and 1969 and consists of 26 photographs; two published volumes by Mary E. Richmond, a founder of modern social work; Coll's thesis; an oral history transcript; and four audio tapes.

The photographs taken in the 1930s are of Coll's co-workers at Baltimore's early charity agencies, the Charity Organization Society and the Family Welfare Association. The women have been photographed at social occasions, and their work with clients is not reflected.

Coll worked with other social workers who were very important to the development of charity organization in Baltimore. Among the caseworkers, students, and assistants shown in the photos are Doris Slothower, general mangager of the Charity Organization Society; Dorothy Pope, general secretary of the Family Welfare Association; District Secretary, Edith Day Gersh; and caseworkers, Louise E. Pickell, Virginia Robinson, and Dorothy Wineberg. Coll herself appears in several of the pictures.

Four larger copied photographs are part of the collection. Shown are caseworkers from the Charity Organization Society; the office of the COS at Eager and Gay Streets; and portraits of two children. (A note on the reverse of the photographs indicates that the items were part of "Miss Pendleton's Scrapbook," who may have been Helen Pendleton. Muriel Pumphrey's name also appears on the back of the photographs. Mary E. Richmond was the subject of Pumphrey's graduate thesis, and she later lectured on the work of the early charity worker).

Coll's personal copies of two of Mary E. Richmond's published works complete the collection: Friendly Visiting among the Poor (1899) with a new introduction (1969) and The Good Neighbor (1908).

Some biographical information is included in the collection.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to the University by Blanche D. Coll in June 1995. The Accession Number is 94-95.28.

Added in October, 1997 were four audio tapes from Coll containing her reminiscences of Frederic Chapin Lane. The Accession Number is 97-98.5.

In November, 1997 Coll gave a copy of her master’s thesis. The Accession Number is 97-98.9.

In 1998, a transcript of the oral history was added. The Accession Number id 97-98.14.

Related Materials

Coll's photograph collection relates to the Family and Children's Society Records (MS.0360) also in Special Collections, because it includes pictures of a few persons whose work is more fully described in the Society's records. Coll's article "The Baltimore Society for the Prevention of Pauperism 1820-1822" is included in MS.0360 (Series 2 Box 31), and the names of the women in the photographs appear often in the office files and the annual reports.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in October 1995.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA