Oliver M. Kaufmann Photograph Collection of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, 1912-1969 AIS.1978.12

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Oliver M. Kaufmann Photograph Collection of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement
Creator
Kaufmann family
Collection Number
AIS.1978.12
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1912-1941
Date [inclusive]
1912-1969
Extent
3000.0 items (14 boxes)
Abstract
The Oliver M. Kaufmann Photograph Collection of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement contains approximately 3,000 images from the years 1912 through 1969 depicting activities at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement and the Emma Farm Camp. The Irene Kaufmann Settlement, a neighborhood social welfare agency located in the Hill District, was one of the first settlements of its kind in the United States and its highly successful programs served as models for similar institutions. Digital reproductions of selected images are available online.

Preferred Citation

Oliver M. Kaufmann Photograph Collection of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, AIS.1978.12, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The Columbian School, which would eventually evolve into the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, opened on January 5, 1896, through the efforts of Rabbi Lippman Mayer of Rodef Shalom Congregation, who developed the Russian School for Jewish immigrant children, and Mrs. A. Leo (Cassie) Weil, President of the Columbian Council. With a volunteer staff and philanthropic support, the school enrolled two hundred students by the end of the first year. The Columbian School’s first residence was in a small room on Miller Street in the Hill District; it then moved Downtown to the Sunday school rooms of Rodef Shalom in 1897.

In 1907, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kaufmann, proprietors of Kaufmann’s Department Store in Downtown Pittsburgh, made a donation in memory of their daughter, Irene Kaufmann. The money was to be used to construct a larger building on the site of 1835 Centre Avenue and to be known as the Irene Kaufmann Settlement. KS, as it was called, helped immigrants adjust to their lives in America. It provided social programs for adults as well as a summer camp for youngsters called Emma Farm, or the Emma Kaufman Camp.

The Settlement was non-sectarian and continued to aid the Hill District community until 1959, when it moved to Squirrel Hill, merging with the Young Men’s Hebrew Association and the Young Women’s Hebrew Association to become Y-IKS. In 1972, the Irene Kaufmann Settlement changed its name to the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh. Also in 1972, the Emma Kaufman Camp moved to Morgan, WV, where it continues to operate today.

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Scope and Contents Note

This collection of about 3,000 photographs was taken by the Irene Kaufmann Settlement and the Y-IKC between the years 1912 and 1969; however, the bulk of these were taken between 1912 and 1941. The collection consists almost entirely of black and white photographic prints with a small number of negatives and oversize material.

Photographs in this collection cover a variety of activities, programs, and celebrations offered by the Irene Kaufmann Settlement. These activities include the Better Baby Clinic, the corner-stone laying to a building addition, theatrical and artistic events, and other programs. The collection also documents the activities of the Emma Farm Camp.

In additon to documenting the organization, the collection provides historical documentation of the community activities surrounding the Kaufmann Settlement as well as the Hill District itself. Many photographs depict housing conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods and testify to the changing social climate of the period.

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Arrangement

The photographs are arranged by the title, number, and date assigned by the creator.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, March 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Copyright

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh in 1978.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the collection are available electronically at http://historicpittsburgh.org/collection/oliver-m-kaufmann-photograph-collection-irene-kaufmann-settlement.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Emma Kaufmann Farm Camp (Pa.).
  • Irene Kaufmann Settlement (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Hill District (Pittsburgh, Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Kaufmann, Henry
  • Kaufmann, Irene

Subject(s)

  • Associations
  • Ethnic groups
  • Jewish community centers -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Oliver M. Kaufmann Photograph Collection of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, AIS.1978.12, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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