The Resource Clippings and scrapbooks are fragile. Serve photocopies

Clippings and scrapbooks are fragile. Serve photocopies

Inclusive dates
  • Records, 1914-1991, of the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia, an organization operating and located in Richmond, Virginia. This collection is organized in six series and includes letters, minutes, an organizational history, annual reports, scrapbooks, plaques, certificates, case studies, a ledger, photographs, promotional material, clippings, training and resource manuals, a phonograph record, and printed material. Also in this collection is material concerning the United Service Organization of which the Travelers' Aid Society was a member
  • SERIES I is scrapbooks and clippings concerning the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia. Specifically, there are scrapbooks, 1934-1937, 1941-1977, 1965, 1979, consisting of newspaper clippings concerning the organization and photographs of transients. One scrapbook, 1965, consists of six photographs, letters, itineraries, press releases, invoices, programs, and Virginia tourist pamphlets concerning the 50th anniversary celebration of the Travelers' Aid Society. Letters found in this scrapbook principally concern prior planning for the anniversary celebration held in Richmond, Virginia, in conjunction with the annual regional conference for the organization. Also in this series are loose newspaper clippings, 1938-1939, 1962, 1970-1973, concerning the organization and its activities
  • SERIES II consists of Travelers' Aid Society board of directors' and executive committee meeting minutes, United Service Organization meeting minutes, and Travelers' Aid Society annual reports for 1937, 1942-1947, 1949, 1956-1957, 1961-1966, 1969-1979, 1982, 1985, and 1991. There are also United Service Organization annual reports, 1960 and 1962
  • SERIES III is organizational files principally containing correspondence, reports and manuals concerning the operation and function of the Travelers' Aid Society. Includes case studies, teaching and training manuals, case study plays, resource manual, personnel practices and social case work files, a case workers' handbook, a United Service Organization handbook of operations, research studies, policy statements, and reports. Reports span from the 1930's to the 1980's and specifically concern relief practices, statistics recording, the function of the Travelers' Aid Society, inter-city services, travel services, war veterans services, the Richmond homeless population, and the Bainbridge-Blackwell neighborhoods in Richmond. Other reports include monthly general secretary's reports, 1914-1916 adn 1931. There is also a ledger, 1984-1988, including names of transients aided by Travelers' Aid Society workers, a list of the board members from 1915-1950, and lists of contributing members, 1915-1922
  • SERIES III also contains organizational correspondence consisting of letters, 1936-1937, sent to and from Mrs. James F. Ryland, an officer of the Travelers' Aid Society. Also in this series is correspondence, 1940-1943 and 1957-1963, for the United Service Organization (U.S.O.) of which the Travelers' Aid Society was a member. In particular this correspondence concerns travel services provided for soldiers in Richmond, Virginia, on duty during World War II. Other material related to the United Service Organization includes by-laws, reports, and committee lists
  • SERIES IV has various publications related to the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia. Includes a history of the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia prepared by Sue B. Ruff in the 1940's, Travelers' Aid Society and United Service Organization promotional pamphlets and newsletters, a copy of "Legal Research Bulletin: Conditions Determining Residence and Settlement for Persons Seeking Relief" printed by the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in 1934 and "An Evaluation of the Fingerprinting of Transients by the Richmond Travelers' Aid Society as a Prerequisite to the Giving of Assistance" submitted as a masters thesis to the Richmond School of Social Work (William and Mary College) by George Emmett Rice in 1941
  • Also in the collection is SERIES V containing certificates and plaques given to the Travelers' Aid Society for service to the community. These include a certificate, 1946, from the United States Armed Services in recognition of their service during World War II; certificate of membership from the National Travelers' Aid Association to the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia; and the United Givers Fund Award, a plaque, presented in 1960 to the organization. There are also a small amount of photographs
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
  • Revised
Biographical or historical data
  • The concept for the Travelers' Aid Society grew out of the gold rush to the United States' West in the early 1850's. In 1851, Bryan Mullanhy, former mayor of St. Louis, left more than a third of his million dollar fortune in a trust fund to be administered by the St. Louis City Council for those persons who were "traveling to the West." The National Travelers Aid Society was an offspring of this initial generous offering. The Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia based and founded in Richmond, Virginia, was organized by the Young Women's Christian Association. In 1909, Helen Beardsley was employed by the Y.W.C.A. as the Travelers' Aid Secretary and in that capacity she served under a committee known as the Travelers' Aid Committee. The principal aim of this committee was to provide protective work for young women. Beardsley eventually expanded the committee's aim to include not only young women but also unwed mothers with children, foreigners, and the physically disabled. As the sole full-time employee, Beardsley's work-load increased so dramatically in the first five years that by 1914-1915 the committee was compelled to organize an independent society named the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia with two full-time workers, Helen Beardsley and Irene Fallis. The organization operated out of Byrd Street Station in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
  • In 1914 the Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia became a member of the National Travelers' Aid Society based in New York. Beardsley and Fallis worked as the only full-time employees until their health deteriorated and they were forced to resign. At that time Miss Earl Recks became executive secretary. Under her supervision case work began and donations from professional men, successful local businesses, the railroad companies, and even the state were solicited. With the securement of sufficient funds, new Travelers' Aid branches were organized in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Petersburg, and Newport News, Virginia.
  • During World War I, the Travelers' Aid Society took on new responsibility by helping traveling soldiers and their families. They also began to serve those in need without regard to race, creed, color, sex or age. In 1917 the first African-American employee was hired by the organization. After the war and during the Great Depression Travelers' Aid workers continued to take on heavier and heavier case loads. Through a combination of private and state support, the organization continued to lend assistance to those travelers in need. This has enabled the organization to remain the oldest, existing, non-sectarian, social welfare movement in the United States.
Cataloging source
Form designation
Clippings and scrapbooks are fragile. Serve photocopies
Clippings and scrapbooks are fragile. Serve photocopies
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
Immediate source of acquisition
Travelers' Aid Society of Virginia
Organization method
Organized in six series: I. Scrapbooks and clippings II. Annual reports and minutes III. Organizational files IV. Publications V. Certificates and plaques and VI. Photographs.
Reproduction note
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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