Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Travelers Aid Family Services (Boston, Mass.)
Title:Travelers Aid Family Services of Boston records
Date:1891-2008 (bulk 1930-1995)
Reference Code:M187
Location Code:55/4, 56/3
Extent:12.55 cubic ft. (13 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:This collection documents the activities of Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) from the 1890s to the 1990s. It includes administrative records of TAFS, including governing documents such as the articles of incorporation, and by-laws. The collection also includes annual reports, annual meeting minutes, records of the Board of Directors, committee records, casework documentation, correspondence, financial records, memoranda, policies, public service announcements, financial records, records of the volunteer program, and TAFS newsletters. Also included in the collection are subject files related to issues of importance to TAFS, such as homelessness, runaways, travel tips, immigration, and social services. Additional materials include memorabilia, photographs, and scrapbooks. Of particular note are the materials documenting the various services provided by TAFS, including the Puerto Rican Entering and Settling Service (PRESS), the Transportation Assistance Program, the Vietnamese Resettlement Program, and the Young Travelers Aid Society. Also of note are the records of the shelters run by TAFS.
Historical Abstract:Travelers Aid Family Services (TAFS) was established in 1916 as a result of increasing awareness of the need to provide services for the vast numbers of immigrants coming to the United States. In 1920, TAFS was formally incorporated as the Travelers Aid Society of Boston. In 1958, TAFS's mission was "to provide information, advice, guidance, and protection to all travelers, who by reason of unfamiliarity with the city, inexperience, unemployment, illness, infirmity, or other disability are in need of assistance or adjustment to the community." In more recent years, TAFS has established homeless shelters and emergency shelters, and TAFS currently provides services to increase homelessness prevention efforts and create affordable housing in Boston. The current mission of TAFS is to "prevent and end homelessness, one family at a time."
Language and Scripts:Materials are entirely in English.
System of Arrangement:The collection is arranged into three series: 1. Administrative Materials, 2. Subject Files, and 3. Memorabilia and Audiovisual Materials.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Travelers Aid Association of America
  • Travelers Aid Family Services (Boston, Mass.)
  • Travelers Aid Family Services (Boston, Mass.)

  • Homelessness -- Massachusetts
  • Immigrants -- Massachusetts
  • Public welfare -- Massachusetts
  • Travelers' aid societies -- Massachusetts

Conditions Governing Access:Client-specific files, such as case files, are restricted for 75 years from their date of creation.
Technical Access:There is a 2" quad reel of public service announcements for which the Library does not have playback equipment.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:Gift of Travelers Aid Family Services, June 27, 2011.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:Copyright restrictions may apply.
Appraisal, Destruction, and Scheduling Information:Six panels from an exhibit about TAFS were scanned and discarded due to mold. They are currently available electronically.
Finding Aids:Puerto Rican Entering and Settling Service records (M81)
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Abigail Cramer, January, 2013