Oregon Social Hygiene Society Records, 1895-1960  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Oregon Social Hygiene Society
Title
Oregon Social Hygiene Society Records
Dates
1895-1960 (inclusive)
Quantity
6 cubic feet (5 document cases, 13 flat boxes)
Collection Number
Mss1541
Summary
Records of an Oregon social service organization founded in 1911 and concerned with promoting physical fitness and ameliorating immorality and vice, especially sexually transmitted diseases and youthful sexual transgressions. Most files were created by the Executive Secretary, Fred B. Messing, who served from 1929 to 1941. Includes correspondence, subject files, minutes of meetings, financial records, and educational literature.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Oregon Social Hygiene Society was established in 1911, at the urging of the Young Men's Christian Association, to limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to combat "social vices" such as prostitution, gambling, and childhood immorality. It promoted physical fitness, especially among young people, and exposed medical quackery. It also helped in organizing local promotion committees in cities and towns around Oregon. The group focused on educational activities such as lectures, classes, and presentations to school groups, as well as publications, exhibits, government lobbying, and assistance with law enforcement. Committees included: public education, school cooperation, publication, social hygiene, exhibits, social evil, legislation, and quackery. Much of the funding of the organization came from a trust fund established by Dr. E. C. Brown. Its operations were later assumed by the University of Oregon.

The organization's Executive Secretary from 1929 to 1940 was Dr. Fred B. Messing. He was born in North Tonawanda, New York, around 1876, and he held a PhD in physical education. Much of his early career was spent working with the YMCA, lecturing on health and sex education to schools, civic organizations and churches. From 1919 to 1922 he lived with his wife Frances in Poland, where he directed physical education for the Polish government. After living in Portland for most of his later life, he moved to Chehalis, Wash., where he died in 1960.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Collection includes: correspondence; financial records; lectures; legislation; case histories; minutes (1911-1938); organizational material; society publications and reports; student questions and statements; scrapbooks; and statistics relating to family relations, prostitution, sexual hygiene and venereal diseases. Correspondence contains letters of Executive Secretary Fred B. Messing (1929-1960). Scrapbooks include photographs of exhibits, publications, letters, and newspaper clippings. Other items include record books with statistics by city and month regarding talks, exhibits, and publications to be distributed. Other topics include obscene literature, physical education, contraception, cigarettes, and camps and institutes.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any publication use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Oregon Social Hygiene Society Records, Mss1541, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series A:  Minutes of Meetings, 1911-1938Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Executive Committee minutes
1911 Sept-1912 Jan
1/2
Executive Committee minutes
1912 Jan-1912 May
1/3
Executive Committee minutes
1912 May-Oct
6/1
Minutes (old vol. 4)
1912 November 1-1913 September 6
6/2
Minutes (old vol. 5)
1913 September 1-1914 October 9
7/1
Minutes (old vol. 6)
1916 April 14-1917 November 9
7/2
Minutes (old vol. 7)
1917 November 16-1918 October 25
8/1
Minutes (old vol. 8)
1918 November 1-1919 October 31
8/2
Minutes (old vol. 9),
1919 November 7-1921 June 3
9/1
Minutes (old vol. 10)
1923 September 24-1929 Feb
9/2
Minutes (old vol. 11)
1929 Feb-Oct
10/1
Executive Committee minutes and reports (old vol. 12)
1929 September 29-1934 October 1
1/4
Minutes
1934-1938

Series B:  Correspondence, 1915-1960Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/5
General correspondence
1919; 1929-1949
1/6
Correspondence of Fred B. Messing
1919-1938
1/7
Correspondence of Fred B. Messing
1939-1960
10/2
Correspondence with members of the legislature (scrapbook)
1915

Series C:  Subject Files, 1895-1941Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
2/1
Camps and institutes
1911-1940; undated
2/2
Case histories
Contains anonymous case histories, mostly of young people, regarding sexuality and personal habits
1912-1914; undated
18/1
Certificate of appreciation to Fred B. Messing
circa 1941
2/3
Cigarettes
1940-1947; undated
2/4
Contraception
1938; undated
11/1
Data (old vol. 14)
1913; undated
2/5
Diagnostic tests
Includes anonymous completed test sheets for the Neymann-Kohlstedt Diagnostic Test for Introversion-Extroverion, 1928 revision.
1928-1938
2/6
Diaries of Fred and Frances Bell Messing
Typescript diaries, including an account of Fred Messing's travels throughout Oregon in 1941, and his wife's account of the couple's activities in Poland in the early 1920s.
1941; undated
2/7
Ephemera of Fred B. Messing
1905-1939; undated
2/8
Lectures by Fred Messing
1935-1940; undated
2/9
Legislation
1912-1940; undated
13/2
Lists, miscellaneous (old vol. 19)
1913-1914
18/3
Lists of contributors and other lists (old vol. 24)
circa 1911-1916
2/10
Marriage
Includes pamphlets, programs and reports relating to sexual issues in marriage
1928-1938; undated
18/2
Membership lists and contributions (old vol. 25)
1914-1919
16/1
News articles and photographs (old vol. 23)
circa 1928-1937
3/1
Oaths of office, by-laws, and other organizational documents
1929-1937; undated
3/2
Obscene literature
Includes typescript report on sales of obscene literature in Portland.
1930
3/3
Physical education
1900-1939; undated
3/4
Prostitution
Includes typescript report on commercialized prostitution in Portland, 1932.
1932-1941
3/5
Publications
1912-1947; undated
3/6
Questions/answers, boys
Anonymous answers to questions regarding the lectures by the Social Hygiene Society.
circa 1933-1936; undated
3/7
Questions/answers, girls
circa 1933-1936; undated
18/4
Record book
Contains monthly statistics, records on frames, talks, circulars, and exhibit attendance.
1911-1919
3/8
Reports, activity
1895; 1931-1932
4/1
Reports, annual
1922-1940
4/2
Reports, miscellaneous
1910-1940
4/3
Reports, quarterly, monthly
1911-1939; undated
11/2
Samples of printed matter (old vol. 15)
1914-1917; undated
12/1
Samples of printed matter (old vol. 16)
1917-1919; undated
12/2
Scrapbook (old vol. 17)
Contains news clippings, programs and photographs relating to the Society's activities.
1937-1940
14/1
Fred Messing scrapbook (old. Vol. 20)
1899-1907
15/1
News clippings (old vol. 21)
1917-1923
15/2
News clippings (old vol. 22)
1915-1916
13/1
Publications from other sources (old vol. 18)
1919-1921; undated
17/1
"A synopsis of the work of the Oregon Social Hygiene Society"
1911-1915; undated
18/5
State record meeting book
Contains city name, committee name, date, attendance numbers, and index.
1913-1918
4/4
Statistics, miscellaneous
1899-1939; undated
4/5
Student addresses
1931-1939; undated
4/6
Support statements
1932-1938; undated
4/7
Venereal disease
1912-1939

Series D:  Financial Records, 1911-1940Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
5/1
Financial records, general
1933-1940; undated
5/2
Cash book
1911-1914
5/3
Cash book
1917-1920
5/4
Cash book
1921-1926
5/5
Ledger, by account
1911-1914

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Hygiene, sexual--Oregon
  • Public health--Oregon
  • Sex instruction literature--Oregon
  • Sex instruction--Oregon
  • Personal Names :
  • Messing, Fred B.--Correspondence
  • Corporate Names :
  • Oregon Social Hygiene Society--Archives (creator)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Case histories
  • Clippings
  • Letters
  • Minutes