Summary Information
Title: The Photographs of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement
Collection Number: MSP#78
Creator: The Irene Kaufmann Settlement
Collection Dates: 1897-1946
Collection Dates: 1922-1936
Extent: 1.0 cubic feet (2 boxes)
The Irene Kaufmann Settlement (IKS) was Pittsburgh's largest and most prominent settlement house from the late 19th through the first half of the 20th century and the principal one for Jewish immigrants during that time period. The IKS (affectionately pronounced ikes) was also a leader in social, civic, health, recreational and educational activities for the City of Pittsburgh. These photographs provide an extensive group of photographs that capture the pervasive presence of the IKS and the Jewish Community in Pittsburgh's Hill District in the first few decades of the twentieth century.


The material in this collection is in English.


Western Pennsylvania Jewish Archives
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222


This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.
Date Published:

Fall, 1999

This guide to the collection was originally prepared by: Donald L. Haggerty in 1988. Photographs rearranged and inventory rewritten by Judith B. Ross in February 1994. Revisions occurred to the finding aid as a part of the encoding process in Fall, 1999.

Encoded by: Janet Begnoche on November 3, 1999 from an existing finding aid. >Reviewed by Curator Steve Doell in February 2000
Revision Description:
July 1, 2006:
Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002

History of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement (1895-1956)

For the history of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, please see finding aid for MSS #78.

Collection Scope and Content Note

These photographs provide rich documentation of the multifaceted activities of the IKS in the 1920s and 1930s. The bulk of the photographs were assembled as part of the IKS publicity and public relations files, originally kept by the IKS in black notebooks. Additionally, there are a small number of photographs that belonged with Julia and Sidney Teller's personal collection. These photographs provide an extensive group of photographs that capture the pervasive presence of the IKS and the Jewish Community in Pittsburgh's Hill District in the first few decades of the twentieth century.

These photographs are arranged in two series. Series have been designated for Administrative Photographs and General Activities of the Settlement, following the same arrangement as found with the records.

The Irene Kaufmann Settlement photographs are housed in two archival boxes.

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Aquisition Information:

These materials came within the Irene Kaufmann Settlement Records, MSS#78 in 1933.

Preferred Citation:

Photographs of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, 1897-1946 (bulk 1922-1936), MSP#78, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Donald Haggerty in 1988. Photographs rearranged and inventory rewritten by Judith B. Ross in February 1994.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Janet Begnoche on November 3, 1999


Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Contents List
Series I Administrative Photographs (1916-1946)
Scope and Content Notes:

The Administrative Photographs illustrate the facilities, neighborhood and staff of the Settlement. Included are interior and exterior shots of the IKS building in the Hill District, general views and demographic charts of the Hill District, and staff photos. Among those included in the staff photos are Anna B. Heldman, Sidney Teller, and his successor Samuel Levine, and Henry Kaufmann. In addition, photographs of personnel from the Personal Service Department and individual members are included.

Of particular note among these photographs are a large group of photos illustrating housing and living conditions in the Hill District neighborhood, the principal IKS service area. The pin maps illustrate what comprised that service area, generally bordered by Crawford, Bedford, Reed and Charles streets. These photographs give a strong visual sense of what this densely populated immigrant and migrant neighborhood looked like between the late 1920s and the 1930s, as it changed from a principally Jewish to an African-American neighborhood. The pin maps are also an excellent counterpart to the statistical data found in Series I of the Records and depict membership and services found in the Hill District.

The Administrative Photographs are arranged alphabetically by folder title with miscellaneous photographs arranged to the rear.

Box 1
folder 1 Building 1916-1941
folder 2 Heldman, Anna B. 1939-1940
folder 3 Hill District 1923-1939
folder 4 Kaufmann, Henry Family 1938-1939
folder 5 Membership 1917-1940
folder 6 Personal Service Department 1924-1935
folder 7 Staff 1923-1944
folder 8 Teller, Sidney A. 1920-1933
folder 9 Miscellaneous Individuals 1942-1946
Series II General Activities (1897-1944)
Scope and Content Notes:

These photographs illustrate general activities, athletics, clubs, events, and camps sponsored by the Settlement. These photographs document the myriad of events and activities sponsored by the IKS for members of the Jewish Community in the Hill District and for all Pittsburgh residents.

The athletic and recreation photographs primarily depict the boys' basketball clubs in posed team shots and game action. Lacking are any photographs of the athletic programs offered by the IKS for girls. Recreational photographs document the diversity of this type of activity and include playground openings, puppet shows, and kite and marble contests. The club photographs are limited in number and fail to represent the breadth of this type of activity at the IKS. Community-wide events are well documented for the 1920s and primarily include photographs of the IKS' annual community picnic, held in Pittsburgh's Schenley Park. Individual photographs of these picnics depict all age groups and activities including craft exhibits, plays, contest winners, and dancers. Co-sponsored events between the IKS and other organizations primarily date from the 1920s and 1930s and include the Community Fund parade, Election Day polling place at the IKS, Hebrew Free Loan Association, Knights of Columbus "Boyology" class opening meeting, and the Pittsburgh Dairy Council.

A large number of photographs document the active role that the IKS took to foster a greater appreciation and education of the arts. The bulk of photographs documenting cultural activity illustrate the IKS' dramatic presentations, representing diverse age groups, events, and seasons. Dramatic presentations also appear to have been a very popular form of artistic expression. Photographs from the art school and art department not only include art and handicrafts exhibits held at the IKS, but also those held at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. While there are a small number of photographs illustrating the IKS' music program, these photographs underrepresent the role and level of activity of this program at the IKS.

Photographs depicting the IKS' work with general issues concerning education and health provide documentation of a number, but not all, of the ground-breaking work done by the IKS. Well represented among these activities are photographs documenting the well known Better Baby Clinics, Better Neighborhood Contests, Milk Wells, Nursing Service and Open Air School. The Open Air School photographs represent the largest early group of photographs from the IKS. Other activities represented by few photographs are the Americanization Classes, and the "Mulbish Arumin," a women's volunteer organization which distributed clothing to the needy.

Summertime activities of the IKS are very well represented, particularly the activities at Emma Farm Camp in Harmarville and Harmony, Pennsylvania, the predecessors to the Emma Kaufmann Camp in Morgantown, West Virginia. This group of photographs includes a small number of camp photographs from the personal collection of Julia and Sidney Teller. Many summertime activities were also held at the IKS building and at local Pittsburgh parks. These activities include the hobby and summer playschools, the jubilee and play festivals, and the rooftop playground at the IKS building.

The General Activities of the Settlement Photographs are arranged alphabetically by folder title with miscellaneous photographs arranged to the rear.

Athletics Recreation
folder 10 Basketball 1921-1941
folder 11 Playground Opening 1931-1936
folder 12 Miscellaneous Athletics 1923-1932
folder 13 Miscellaneous Recreation 1931-1935
folder 14 Clubs 1917-1936
Community-wide Events
folder 15 Arbor Day 1921-1925
Community Picnic
folder 16 1922-1923
folder 17 1925-1927
folder 18 Co-sponsored Events 1923-1937
folder 19 Art School 1922-1935
folder 20 Art Exhibits at the Carnegie 1921-1925
folder 21 Arts Crafts 1921-1940
folder 22 Children's Theater 1928-1936
folder 23 Fashion Dance Revue 1932-1936
folder 24 Founder's Day 1923-1925

Box 2
folder 1 Little Theater 1922-1926
folder 2 Return to Spring 1923
folder 3 Young Player's Guild 1924
folder 4 Misc. Theater 1916-1934
folder 5 Music School 1931-1944
Education, Health Welfare
folder 6 Americanization Classes 1921-1927
folder 7 Better Baby Clinics 1897-1935
folder 8 Better Neighborhood Contests 1923-1940
folder 9 Children's Health Welfare Week 1923
folder 10 Milk Well 1920-1935
folder 11 "Mulbish Arumin" 1924
folder 12 Nursing Service 1917-1934
folder 13 Open Air School 1911-1925
folder 14 Socials-Halloween Party 1923-1934
Summertime Activities
Emma Farm Camp
folder 15 Harmarville, Pa. 1918-1922
folder 16 Harmony, Pa. 1923-1940
folder 17 Teller Photos 1931-1940
folder 18 Hobby Playschool 1939-1941
folder 19 Jubilee Play Festival 1935
folder 20 Kaufmann, Henry Birthdays 1932-1940
folder 21 Little World's Fair 1933-1934
folder 22 Recreation Guild 1933
folder 23 Rooftop Playground 1920-1924
folder 24 Summer Playschool 1922-1933
folder 25 Miscellaneous Summertime 1926-1927