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Hebrew Orphan Society papers

Identifier: Mss 1057

Collection Overview

Although founded in 1801, the earliest records extant date from 1850. Minutes run from 1850-1862; and then from 1866-1997, with some lacking in the latest years; they detail attendance, finances, charities, and administration of the organization, with 1949 and 1997 constitution and bylaws and some historical clippings, photos, etc. Correspondence (1902-1909, 1930, 1978, 1982-2000) is mostly from grant seekers such as Hospice of Charleston, Charleston Jewish Social Services, Charleston Area Senior Citizens, Lowcountry Food Bank and other agencies. There is information on running the organization and data regarding the N. Edgar Miles Scholarship, which is the subject of the Scholarship series of papers (1992-1995). Financial papers include a cash book (1866-1915), a ledger (1893-1972), financial statements (1936, 1948, 1982-1998), bank statements (1982-1995) and investment reports (1982-1995).


  • Creation: 1850-2000


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

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The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

Founded in 1801, the Charleston, S.C., Hebrew Orphan Society was incorporated the next year, making it "the oldest incorporated Jewish charitable organization in continuous existence in the United States." Its goal was "relieving widows, educating, clothing and maintaining orphans and children of indigent parents." Orphans on the "bounty" of the organization were maintained in private homes until the 1860-1863 period when the organization maintained an orphanage in the building it owned on Broad Street. (The Society owned this building from 1833 to 1931.) In 1944, the Society no longer accepted general members but restricted membership to eighteen, election being a recognition of community service. In 1951, the Society became a member of the Charleston Jewish Social Services, which began to channel Society funds to meet the needs of the community; in later years, it has funded grant proposals, along with its annual gifts to the Charleston Jewish Social Services.


4.0 linear feet

Language of Materials


Related Material

See also Mss 1029, Thomas J. Tobias papers, and his book, The Hebrew Orphan Society of Charleston, S.C.: founded 1801, an historical sketch.

Inventory of the Hebrew Orphan Society Papers, 1850-2000
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
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