Scope and Content

The Federation for Community Planning Records, 1913-1974 and undated, consist of minutes, correspondence, reports, clippings and publications of the Federation for Community Planning, the Welfare Federation, the Federation for Charity and Philanthropy and various bodies allied to these organizations, files of the executive directors Edward D. Lynde and William T. McCullough, speech texts, television and radio scripts, personnel files and news releases. The records are in manuscript form and microfilm copy.

This collection will be useful to researchers studying the history of charity, philanthropy, and social welfare in Cleveland, Ohio, in the twentieth century. Generally, the collection provides an excellent overall view of the systematization of welfare and philanthropy in Cleveland. Because the city was one of the first major urban areas to centrally coordinate its charitable work, the collection provides a basis for understanding this movement which became national in scale.

Specifically, the collection relates to various social issues such as juvenile delinquency, care of the aged, family life and child rearing, adoption and foster home care, social protection, crime, transiency and homelessness, illegitimacy, and alcoholism. Because of the scope of the Federation's investigatory activities, its concern for these issues on a local level is based on studies of a national scope.

Certain areas of the records are especially strong and deserve to be noted. These include sections of the collection relating to the resettlement of Japanese Americans in Cleveland during and after World War II, the problems of vagrancy and shanty towns during the Great Depression, and the development of interest in the care of the elderly from the 1930s to the 1970s. Because the Federation served to coordinate public as well as private welfare work, the collection also provides much insight into the government welfare systems of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, particularly during the 1930s.

The complicated organizational structure of the Federation makes it impossible to localize any of these topical areas to one segment of its operations. In particular, the Research Department acquired, over the years, records from all departments of the Federation, and its files, therefore, have excellent research potential. The major portion of this collection dates between 1940 and 1970 and relates primarily to the activities of the Welfare Federation of Cleveland.