Historical child welfare research photos now in digital collection

More than 500 photographs of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers taken at the now-defunct Iowa Child Welfare Research Station are available in a new online exhibit from the University of Iowa Libraries: digital.lib.uiowa.edu/ictcs/icwrs.html.

The photos, taken in the 1920s through 1967, include many scenes of children at play. The exhibit is part of Frederick Kent’s “Colleges and Departments” photograph series, covering the early to mid-20th century and housed in the University Archives, and is the definitive pictorial history of academics at the University of Iowa.

Thanks to Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, a research center in operation from 1917 to 1974, the UI was highly influential and became a leader in the development of child psychology and child development studies. Milestones in the station’s history include studies used to create national standards for child growth rates, the establishment of the country’s first free-standing preschool, and IQ studies demonstrating the importance of early intervention that paved the way for later social programs such as Head Start.

The Iowa Child Welfare Research Station web exhibit is part of the Iowa City Town and Campus Scenes Digital Collection digital.lib.uiowa.edu/ictcs, which features nearly 6,000 historic images of UI and its surrounding community.