New-York Historical Society > Collections

The collection consists of the historical records of the Children's Aid Society (CAS). The charitable organization was founded in New York City in 1853 to aid, educate, and provide lodging for poor children in the city, and/or to place them in foster homes or with employers outside of the city. The records relate to the CAS lodging houses, industrial schools, convalescent homes, health centers, farm schools, and, especially, the emigration programs ("orphan train") which operated during the period 1853-1947. The collection also includes limited material from 1948-1951 and annual reports to 2006. The bulk of the collection consists of case files from the emigration program which are restricted and need special permission to be viewed. Materials most represented in the collection are reports, bound volumes, photographs, and correspondence, among other material types. The finding aid for this collection can be found here:

The majority of the unrestricted photographs from the collection have been digitized and are viewable here. In addition, several of the annual reports and select volumes are also represented. Please contact the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) with any questions you may have about the material, its use, and access. Please contact the Children's Aid Society for permission to use any of the images.