The Social Museum Collection

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Several repositories at Harvard University contain papers, manuscripts, and published materials related to Francis Greenwood Peabody, who graduated from Harvard College in 1869 and received degrees from the Divinity School and the Graduate School in 1872. For more information, contact the Andover-Harvard Theological Library and the Harvard University Archives.

Digital access to material from the Social Museum collection is also available through the Harvard University Library Open Collections Program (OCP). Through this program, the university advances teaching and learning on historical topics of great relevance by providing online access to historical resources from Harvard’s renowned libraries, archives, and museums. OCP’s highly specialized “open collections” are developed through careful collaborations among Harvard’s distinguished faculty, librarians, and curators. The goal of the Open Collections Program is to offer a new model for digital collections that will benefit students and teachers around the world. Three open collections sites that include Social Museum collection material have been launched since 2004: Women Working, 1800–1930, Immigration to the United States, 1789–1930, and Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics.

A related resource, the Industrial Life Photograph Collection, is held by Historical Collections, at the Baker Library within the Harvard Business School. In the 1930s Harvard Business School colleagues Donald Davenport and Frank Ayres contacted leading businesses and requested photographs for classroom instruction. They amassed more than twenty-one hundred photographs, from strangely beautiful views of men operating Midvale Steel’s 9,000-ton hydraulic press to women assembling tiny, delicate parts of Philco radios. Now students, and America’s aspiring corporate managers, had visual data to study “the human factor,” the interaction of worker and machine. The exhibition The Human Factor: Introducing the Industrial Life Photograph Collection at Baker Library was on view at the Baker Library from October 19, 2006, through March 7, 2007 and is accessible as an online resource.