University of Minnesota

International Institute of Boston, Massachusetts, Records

Finding Aid

IHRC Archives

Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota

Descriptive summary

Creator: International Institute of Boston.
Dates: 1924-1955
Abstract: Records (1924-1955) of the International Institute of Boston consist of case files, administrative records, activities, resources, memorabilia, and information on related organizations.The International Institute of Boston, The Beacon, cataloged as a serial and available on microfilm, is the major publication of the Institute.
Quantity: 25 linear ft.
Language: In English
Collection ID: IHRC1031


One of fifty such organizations throughout the United States, the International Institute of Boston was part of a national movement within the YWCA to serve the urban immigrant community. The Boston International Institute had its inception in 1923, and opened in 1924. It was described as a "Service Bureau for Foreign-Speaking People". Through case, group, and community work the staff sought to provide information, education, personal service, and assembly to its clients.The Beacon, the monthly newsletter, was begun in 1933, and also several annual social events. In addition, separation, community, and nationalities studies were done. During this time also, the Institute severed its ties with the YWCA in 1935, and became autonomous.It subsequently became a member of the Boston Council of Social Agencies, the Greater Boston Community Fund, and the National Institute for Immigrant Welfare (the umbrella organization for independent International Institutes--later the American Federation of International Institutes). In 1959 merged with the American Council for Nationalities Service.During the late 1940s, the Institute struggled to maintain its services, and provided aid to war victims and recreational facilities to enlisted men. In the 1950s, a new executive secretary, Pauline Gardescu, assumed responsibility for the Institute. The Institute continued its work with both immigrant and international communities in Boston.



The International Institute of Boston, Massachusetts collection is available for public research with the exception of case files which are restricted. Please contact the IHRC Archives for more information.


The International Institute of Boston, Massachusetts collection is the physical property of the Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota.

For further information regarding the copyright, please contact the IHRC Archives.


The International Institute of Boston, Massachusetts Records, General/Multiethnic Collection, IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota


Related collections at the IHRC are Records of the American Council for Nationalities Services as well as records of individual International Institutes in New Bedford (Mass.); Biddleford-Saco (Maine); Boston (Mass.); Buffalo (N.Y.); Lewiston (Maine); McKeesport (Pa.); Minnesota; New Castle (Pa.); New Haven (Conn.); Niagara Falls (N.Y.); St. Louis (Missouri); Baltimore (Md.); Jersey City (N.J.)

Index Terms

Children of immigrants--Education--Massacchusetts--Boston--Language arts.
Social case work.
Social work with immigrants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Social settlements--Massachusetts--Boston.
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.

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