Related Collections in Other Archives
Scope and Content
Title: Travelers Aids Society of San Francisco Records,
Date (inclusive): 1914-2004
Date (bulk): (1940-1989)
Collection Identifier: SFH 18
Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco.
3 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 flat box
(4.75 cubic ft.)
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
The records of Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco document the organization's activities from its founding in 1914, through
its transition to Compass Community Services in 1995, and up to 2004. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1940-1989,
providing insight into the organization's shifting mission in response to changing social conditions. The collection contains
board and committee minutes and reports, correspondence, training manuals, subject files, and scrapbooks.
This collection is open for research. Access to psychiatric staff meeting minutes in Series 1, Subseries B are restricted
until 2085; copies of these files with names redacted are open for research.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts and archives must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist.
[Identification of item], Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco Records (SFH 18), San Francisco History Center, San Francisco
The Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco Records were donated by Compass Community Services, Travelers Aid's successor organization,
Researchers are encouraged to see also the San Francisco History Center's subject and biographical files and the San Francisco
Historical Photograph Collection, and to check the catalog holdings of the San Francisco Public Library for related materials.
Related Collections in Other Archives
National Travelers Aid Association of America Records, 1910-1975 (32 linear feet), Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of
During processing, the entire collection was re-foldered and re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Some metal staples
remain. Scrapbooks were dis-bound, with photographs and other material separated from plastic pages and sheets when possible.
The origins of the Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco date back to 1893, when it was founded as a department of the Young
Women's Christian Association (YWCA). In 1914, it became an independent organization dedicated to assisting travelers drawn
by the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) in San Francisco. Part of the National Travelers Aid Association, a
nationwide collection of societies located in most major US cities, Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco sought to protect
stranded people, especially women and children, from abuse or victimization upon arrival in urban centers. Though many Travelers
Aid programs were started by religious groups, the society is the oldest non-sectarian social welfare organization in the
Over the course of its history, Travelers Aid of San Francisco (TASSF) has offered services in response to shifting social
conditions, assisting a wide range of people. In the early years, it served refugees, soldiers and their families during wars,
and transient single adults. The organization continued to respond to significant national and local events throughout the
twentieth century, providing services to transients during the Great Depression of the 1930s, migrating military families
and displaced refugees during World War II, and Flower Children in the 1960s. In 1972, the organization opened Aquarius House,
founded to provide temporary shelter to young adults in crisis. During the 1980s, the agency began to shift its focus toward
family homelessness and its components: lack of housing, employment, and other resources, and it opened a childcare center
for homeless children in the Tenderloin in 1990. To signify this shift in focus, the organization changed its name to Compass
Community Services (CCS) in 1995. At present, CCS provides childcare, a family center, an emergency shelter, and transitional
housing services for families that need intensive rehabilitation or are in danger of becoming homeless.
Scope and Content
This collection documents the activities of the Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco (TASSF) and its transition to Compass
Community Services (CCS), from the founding of the organization in 1914 through 2004. The bulk of the collection covers the
years 1940-1989, providing insight into TASSF's shifting mission in response to changing social conditions. A major shift
in focus is apparent the records documenting the opening a of Tenderloin childcare center for homeless children in 1990 and
the organization's name change to Compass Community Services (CCS) in 1995. The collection contains minutes and reports of
the general board, as well as individual committees that document policy-making decisions and provide an overview of TAASF/CCS'
actions. Similarly, these activities are reflected by correspondence, fundraising materials, and training manuals for volunteers
and officers. Travelers Aid's subject and reference files document the topics with which they were concerned and reveal the
day-to-day operations of TASSF. Scrapbooks containing news clippings, correspondence, and photographs provide an excellent
historical overview of the organization's role in the larger community; and proclamations of recognition from San Francisco
mayors commemorate its successes in this respect.
The Travelers Aid of San Francisco Records are organized into eight series: Series 1: Minutes and Annual Reports; Series 2:
Reports; Series 3: Correspondence; Series 4: Fundraising and Volunteers; Series 5: Training Manuals; Series 6: Subject Files
and Reference Material; Series 7: Scrapbooks; and Series 8: Proclamations and Photos. Series 1 and 2 are subdivided by format
and by records creator, respectively. Arrangement within each series is chronological.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Compass Community Services. -- Archives
Travelers Aid Society of San Francisco. -- Archives
San Francisco (Calif.)--Societies, etc.
Traveler's aid societies