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Florence Crittenton Home records

Collection number: ahc.MSS606

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the governance of the Atlanta Florence Crittenton Home. Papers include material about finances, site management, programs, and the care of women living at the home. The bulk of the papers are Board of Trustee meeting minutes, budgets, and information about the history of the organization. Also included are publications pertaining to the organization's mission; a Board of Trustees manual that contains by-laws and historic background; newsletters written and published for the residents of the home and for supporters of the facility; and correspondence from other organizations. Of particular note is research material about abortion and birth control. This collection does not contain adoption records.


  • 1892-1982, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Biographical / Historical

The Florence Crittenton Home is a national organization that shelters "unwed mothers" and women “who need help in order to give up lives of prostitution, drug addiction, or alcoholism.” In 1883 Nelson Crittenton (1833-1909) founded the first shelter, then called the Florence Crittenton Mission, in New York City, naming it in memory of his daughter. In 1891, Crittenton met Dr. Kate Waller Barrett (1857-1925), who was working to open similar shelters in Atlanta, Georgia. Together they opened the first Florence Crittenton Home in Atlanta in 1892. By 1894, Dr. Barrett and her husband, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church pastor Robert South Barrett (1856-1896), moved to Washington, D.C., where she continued to work with Crittenton. In 1898 the organization was renamed the National FLorence Crittenton Mission. When Crittenton died in 1909, Dr. Barrett became the new president until her death. In 1950, the Florence Crittenton Association of America (FCAA) became the professional association for Crittenton agencies. Between 1976 and 2007, FCAA merged with Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). Also in 2007 the organization was renamed The National Crittenton Foundation (TNCF), and as of 2023 operates out of Portland, Oregon.

Governed by a Board of Trustees, the Florence Crittenton Home in Atlanta provided medical and educational assistance to unmarried, pregnant women and adoption services to newborn babies. Until the 1950s, the home operated a farm and dairy to increase self-sufficiency, and donations from patrons and financial assistance from the city provided additional resources. In the 1960s, the facility became more reliant on city funds and local grant giving agencies, including the Community Chest of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc., the Margaret Mitchell Fund, the John Bulow Campbell Foundation, and the Whitehead Foundation. In 1974, Atlanta Florence Crittenton Services was consolidated into the Child Services and Family Counseling Center, Inc. (renamed Families First in 1987). The Atlanta Florence Crittenton Home closed in 1981.


4.75 linear ft. (nine document cases and two oversize boxes)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1976, with subsequent additions

Bias in Description

As archivists, we acknowledge our role as stewards of information. We choose how individuals and organizations are represented and described in our archives. We are not neutral, and bias is reflected in our descriptions, which may not accurately convey the racist or offensive aspects of collection materials. Archivists make mistakes and might use poor judgment. In working with this collection, we often re-use language used by the former owners of the material. This language provides context but often includes bias and prejudices reflective of the time in which it was created.

The Kenan Research Center’s work is ongoing to implement reparative language where Library of Congress subject terms are inaccurate and obsolete. Kenan Research Center welcomes feedback and questions regarding our archival descriptions. If you encounter harmful, offensive, or insensitive terminology or descriptions, please let us know by emailing Your comments are essential to our work to create inclusive and thoughtful description.

Content Advisory

This collection contains original unedited versions of all content. Some material may contain depictions of violence, offensive language, or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. There may be instances of racist language and depictions, particularly regarding African Americans. These items are presented as part of the historical record for the purpose of education and research. The viewpoints expressed in this collection do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of the Atlanta History Center or any of its officers, agents, employees, or volunteers.

Processing Information

This collection was reprocessed in 2009.

Florence Crittenton Home records
Leah Lefkowitz
December 2002
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305