USC Libraries

University of Southern California

skip navigation

Archives at USC

« back to Archives at USC Search

Finding aid for the Jessie E. Dean papers

Finding aid prepared by Lisa Ebiner Gavit, 2013 November

Summary Information

Repository
USC Libraries Special Collections
Creator
Dean, Jessie E., 1887-1964
Title
Jessie E. Dean papers
Collection no.
0410
Date [inclusive]
1916-1960
Extent
0.42 Linear feet, 1 box
Language
English
Abstract
Jessie E. Dean was employed by the Los County Department of Charities from 1919 to 1943, and served as Supervisor in the successive Divisions of Outdoor Relief, County Welfare and Indigent Relief. A citation of appreciation from her fellow workers, found in this collection, noted that she was the first, or "near first" trained social worker to practice in Los Angeles. Certainly she was a founding member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Social Workers, begun in 1923, and also of its journal "The Lens", published from 1926-37. A 1916-17 bulletin of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, annotated in Dean's handwriting, indicates that she studied there and was taught by Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge. The collection, made up of a miscellany of professional papers accumulated during Dean's career and preserved by a co-worker on her retirement, reflects the high level of personal dedication, social conscience, and moral conviction characteristic of social workers of her generation. A strong teaching ethic is evident in the detailed instructional outlines she compiled for the training of new "visitors" and student social workers. The collection contains descriptive annual reports for the County Welfare Division, from 1921-32 and for 1935, written by Dean for delivery to the Board of Supervisors by her Superintendent. In effect these long accounts are vivid essays on social welfare conditions prevailing in Los Angeles during the hectic population increase of the 1920s followed by the Depression. The gradually changing tone of the reports, as professional social workers found themselves transformed into emergency relief dispensers, indicates the difficult adaptation required of Dean and her co-workers in the early 1930s. Also included in the collection is a manuscript draft of a critical account of County Welfare operations in 1925, journals, reprints, pamphlets, articles, sermons, seminar notes and transcripts, reports, teaching materials and book excerpts and outlines, together with some examples of intake forms used by Dean's office during the Depression.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], Jessie E. Dean papers, Collection no. 0410, California Social Welfare Archives, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Return to Table of Contents »


Historical note

Jessie E. Dean was employed by the Los Angeles County Department of Charities from 1919 to 1943, and served as Supervisor in the successive Divisions of Outdoor Relief, County Welfare, and Indigent Relief. A citation of appreciation from her fellow workers, found in this collection, noted that she was the first, or "near first" trained social worker to practice in Los Angeles. Certainly she was a founding member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Social Workers, begun in 1923, and also of its journal "The Lens", published from 1926-37. A 1916-17 bulletin of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, annotated in Dean's handwriting, indicates that she studied there and was taught by Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge.

The collection, made up of a miscellany of professional papers accumulated during Dean's career and preserved by a co-worker on her retirement, reflects the high level of personal dedication, social conscience, and moral conviction characteristic of social workers of her generation. A strong teaching ethic is evident in the detailed instructional outlines she compiled for the training of new "visitors" and student social workers. The collection contains descriptive annual reports for the County Welfare Division, from 1921-32 and for 1935, written by Dean for delivery to the Board of Supervisors by her Superintendent. In effect these long accounts are vivid essays on social welfare conditions prevailing in Los Angeles during the hectic population increase of the 1920’s followed by the Depression. The gradually changing tone of the reports, as professional social workers found themselves transformed into emergency relief dispensers, indicates the difficult adaptation required of Dean and her co-workers in the early 1930s.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Content

The papers in this collection were created and collected by Jessie Dean during her work for the Los Angeles County Department of Charities between 1919 and 1943. Included are annual reports, financial reports, and reports from various welfare agencies. There are also essays pertaining to different social work-related topics, copies of speeches she gave, instructions on how to properly run a social work office, and miscellaneous notes. Also included in the collection is a manuscript draft of a critical account of County Welfare operations in 1925, journals, reprints, pamphlets, articles, sermons, seminar notes and transcripts, reports, teaching materials and book excerpts and outlines, together with some examples of intake forms used by Dean’s office during the Depression.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

USC Libraries Special Collections
2013 November
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California, 90089-0189
213-740-5900
specol@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

The use of archival materials for on-site research does not constitute permission from the California Social Welfare Archives to publish them. Copyright has not been assigned to the California Social Welfare Archives, and the researcher is instructed to obtain permission from the copyright holder to quote from or publish manuscripts in the CSWA's collections.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Los Angeles County (Calif.). Department of Charities. -- Archives

Genre(s)

  • Newsletters
  • Notes
  • Pamphlets
  • Reports
  • Transcripts

Geographic Name(s)

  • Los Angeles (Calif.)--Social conditions--20th century--Archival resources

Personal Name(s)

  • Dean, Jessie E., 1887-1964 -- Archives

Subject(s)

  • Social group work--California--Los Angeles County--Archival resources
  • Social workers--California--Los Angeles County--Archival resources

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Social work reports 1921-1946 

Box Folder

 Annual Reports of the Outdoor Relief Division of the Department of Charities 1921-1935 

Scope and Content

This folder contains copies of reports made by Jessie Dean for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

1 2

 Annual Reports of the L.A. County Welfare Department 1929-1935 

Scope and Content

This folder contains several annual reports of the Los Angeles County Welfare Department, including financial reports.

1 3

 Reports and newsletters from various social work agencies undated 

Scope and Content

This folder contains copies of various reports from different welfare agencies, a newsletter from the State of California Department of Social Welfare, a publication from the Social Work Publicity Council, and an essay titled, "The Request for Placement has Meaning", which describes the different circumstances and motives which drive parents to request a foster home for their children.

1 4

 Outlines and Excerpts from County Welfare in Los Angeles; a report of the Child Placement Unit of the L.A. Bureau of Public Assistance 1946 

Scope and Content

This folder contains a notebook of Jessie Dean's titled, "Outlines and Excerpts" containing papers on how to run a social work office, as well as outlines from a book titled "Personality and Social Adjustement" and other miscellaneous notes. Also in this folder are- Bulletin No. 31 of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy (1916), and a report from March 1946 titled "A Study of the Child Placement Unit of the Bureau of Public Assistance Los Angeles County, California".

1 5

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 2:  Miscellaneous papers and brochures 1920-1960 

Box Folder

 Chicago School of Philanthropy Bulletin 31; handwritten notes, etc. 1920-1960 

Scope and Content

This folder contains many papers kept by Jessie E. Dean during the time she worked for the Department of Public Social Services in Los Angeles including transcripts of speeches she gave, a report of the Department of Charities of Los Angeles County, and miscellaneous notes and outlines on how she ran her office and managed her time.

1 1

 Pamphlets, magazines, teaching materials undated 

Scope and Content

This folder contains various brochures and newsletters of different social work agencies, issues of "The Compass" and "The Family" which are publications put out by the American Association of Social Workers, and the Family Welfare Association of America, respectively. Also in this folder is a document titled, "Nomenclature of Psychiatric Disorders" and miscellaneous notes and publications regarding social case work.

1 6

 The Social Worker's Dictionary and "The Case Worker's Desk Manual" 1936-1937 

Scope and Content

This folder contains two publications, one being "The Social Workers' Dictionary" and the other being "The Case Worker's Desk Manual". The latter is described as "a compendium of information for daily use by practioners of social case work".

1 7

 Office papers and forms 1930 

Scope and Content

This folder contains a document on policies of the Department of Charities Division of County Welfare Relief from 1935, copies of ordinances, forms and reporting sheets, and miscellaneous notes and tables regarding budgets and material aid to underpriviliged children.

1 8

Return to Table of Contents »