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Gertrude Zimand papers

Identifier: SW 212

Scope and Content

The collection contains personal and professional papers and records of Gertrude Zimand’s career with the National Child Labor Committee.


  • 1915-1966


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Open for use in Social Welfare History Archives reading room.


Please contact the Archives for copyright information.

Biographical Note

Gertrude Folks Zimand was born in 1894 in New York City, the daughter of noted social worker and reformer Homer Folks. She graduated from Vassar College in 1916 and married Savel Zimand, journalist and health educator, in 1926. After assisting with rehabilitation work in Europe at the end of World War I and teaching at the University of Cincinnati, Zimand began working for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), which had been founded by her father in 1904. She worked as a field investigator; edited the agency's magazine, American Child; and was research director and associate general secretary. In 1943 she became general secretary, a position she held until her retirement in 1955.

Gertrude Zimand's professional life was devoted to child welfare reform and eliminating the exploitation of children as laborers. She spent the majority of her career supporting the activities of the NCLC, which included campaigns for state laws to keep children in school until age 14, eight-hour work days for children ages 14 and 15, a federal child labor amendment, and other related welfare reforms. When successive pieces of child labor legislation reform passed during the New Deal under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she redirected the NCLC into a National Committee on Employment of Youth. The Committee focused on the employment troubles of teenagers and young adults, especially the poor, minority groups, and those that had dropped out of school.

A prolific writer, Zimand wrote many articles and books, including Young Workers in the United States(1953), Young Workers and Their Vocational Needs(1955), and Children in the Theater(1941). That she was a significant force in child welfare reform is attested to by former Secretary of Labor James P. Mitchell, who, upon her retirement in 1955, praised "the impact of her work, directly on the lives of children throughout the United States." Zimand passed away on May 10, 1966, at the age of 71.


2.0 Linear Feet


Collection contains the papers and records of Gertrude Zimand’s career with the National Child Labor Committee.


The collection is divided into three series: personal papers, National Child Labor Committee, and ephemeral publications related to the NCLC.

Other Finding Aid

Unpublished inventory available. Please contact the Archives for further information regarding these papers.

Acquisition Information

The Gertrude Zimand papers were given to the Social Welfare History Archives on May 1, 1967.

Related Materials

Savel Zimand papers (SW213), Social Welfare History Archives

Gertrude Zimand papers
Loren W. Crabtree; updated by Karen Spilman
July 1967; February 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Social Welfare History Archives Collecting Area