New-York Historical Society > Collections

This digital collection consists of selected images from the Records of the New York Foundling Hospital, 1869-2009. Images include photographs of Foundling facilities and activities, reproductions of pamphlets, and reproductions of notes left with children entrusted to the Foundling.

The complete collection of NY Foundling Hospital records, including many other images, is at the New-York Historical Society. A guide to the collection may be found at Please contact the New-York Historical Society with any questions you may have about the material, its use, and access.

The New York Foundling Hospital collection documents the programs and administration of the New York Foundling Hospital, 1869-2009, and the St. Agatha Home for Children, which operated separately from the Foundling beginning in 1884, before merging into the Foundling in 1977. The Foundling opened in 1869, under the auspices of the Sisters of Charity, as a Catholic haven for abandoned babies. It was one of the principal organizations sending children to live with families in the country, in a program known today as the "orphan train." That program ended in 1929. Thereafter the Foundling expanded, diversified, and decentralized. Today the Foundling is an organization providing foster care, adoption, social work, and community-based preventive and health services to children and families in New York and Puerto Rico.