Secondary Sources

Falvey Book Search

The Library's catalog is your gateway to books about child welfare, orphans, orphanages, and orphan trains. Start with a simple keyword search and use hyperlinked subjects in the catalog to focus your search. Try the links below for starters:

Subject search:  "Child welfare United States History."
Author search: "Children's Aid Society"
Author search: "Brace, Charles Loring, 1826-1890"
Keyword search: "United States" and orphan* and history

Gale Virtual Reference Library
GVRL includes the Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood, the Dictionary of American History, West's Encyclopedia of American Law, and numerous other reference works. The Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood has essays on work and poverty, education in the United States, foster care, and child saving. Each essay includes a recommended reading list.

Encyclopedia of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Includes essays on child labor legislation, child saving, the United States Children's Bureau, and education among many others.

America: History and Life (EBSCO)
This database indexes and abstracts articles published in journals such as the Journal of Family History, the Journal of Social History, and the History of Education. Here are some search terms to get you started: "children's aid society," "child welfare," "abandoned children," "orphan trains," and orphans. Use the Findit button to link to the full text or to request a scan of the article.

Provides a full-text archive of academic journals and books in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics. The most recent three to five years of a journal are usually not included.

Primary Sources

AncestryLibrary (ProQuest)
A vast collection of genealogical data which traces the history of millions of individuals.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 1860-2009 (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Provides full-text access to the complete Philadelphia Inquirer archive up to 2009: the Philadelphia Inquirer (1860-1934), the Philadelphia Inquirer Public Ledger (1934-1969), and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1969-2009). Use Philadelphia Inquirer (NewsBank) for access to current content.

New York Times: 1851- (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)
Complete coverage from 1851 to the present with the exception of the most current three years. Includes classified ads, comics and cartoons, photos, maps, graphics, etc., editorials and commentary.

American Periodicals (ProQuest)
A selection of periodicals that first began publishing between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines, literary and professional journals, children\'s and women\'s magazines, and many other historically significant periodicals.

Selected Primary Sources

Annual Report of the Children's Aid Society of Pennsylvania, 1908-1942. (Hathi Trust)
The report includes detailed information about the Society's activities, including the number of children in its care, the type of care provided, the number of children deceased while in its care, and much more.

Annual Report of the Children's Aid Society of Pennsylvania (Internet Archive)
Pre-1908 annual reports.

Brace, Charles Loring, and Emma Brace. The Life of Charles Loring Brace, Chiefly Told in His Own Letters. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1894. (Internet Archive)

Brace, Charles Loring. The Dangerous Classes of New York and Twenty Years' Work Among Them. New York: Wynkoop & Hallenbeck, 1872. (Internet Archive)

Brace, Charles Loring. The Children's Aid Society of New York: Its History, Plan and Results. New York: Children's Aid Society, 1893.