McGill University Archives Private Fonds


The Montreal Council of Social Agencies, a co-ordinating organization for English-speaking, non-Roman Catholic social agencies, was formed in 1921 by John Howard Toynbee Falk, head of McGill's Department of Social Studies, later the McGill University School of Social Workers. Although details of the organization of the MCSA have been modified over the years, the basic structure remained constant: a Board of Directors, elected from the member agencies, directed the MCSA through administrative standing committees and, more importantly, set up numerous special committees to study specific social problems under the aegis of area advisory groups for health, aging, urban renewal, recreation, etc. The overwhelming emphasis of the MCSA on planning and research reflects its role as animator, information exchange and coordinator of a great variety of social agencies and groups, from major hospitals and fund-raising organizations to church groups and boys' clubs. In 1968, the MCSA merged with its French homologue, the Conseil de Développement Social; it ceased operations in 1976.


Originals and Printed Materials, 1921-1976, 15 m (M.G. 2076)

The administrative records of the MCSA contain annual reports, 1921-1968; minutes of annual meetings, 1956-1971; minutes and correspondence of the Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, 1953-1972; files on budgets and staffing, 1962-1973; and documents on the merger with the Conseil de Développement Social. The operations of standing committees (Committee on Committees, Admissions and Standards, Nominating, etc) are documented by broken series of minutes from 1937 to 1971. Far more extensive are the papers of special committees researching social problems such as school leaving, 1934; single parents, 1949; housing and urban renewal, 1967-1971; dental services for children, 1950-1961; and low-cost medication, 1970-1971. These files include case work studies, correspondence, minutes and reports. The question of day care is particularly well covered, both through committee materials and through the files of Barbara Heppner, MCSA Day Care Coordinator, 1969-70. Correspondence files contain letters and reports from member agencies, university schools of social work, co-ordinating bodies such as the Canadian Welfare Council and the Conseil de Bien-Etre du Québec, various citizen's groups, and government bodies. A large percentage of this material consists of information files, containing reports of, and studies by, American and Canadian social agencies, conference and workshop proceedings, and materials on social legislation.

McGill University Archives. A Guide to Archival Resources at McGill University: Private Papers held at McGill University, part 2. Vol. 3. Montreal: McGill University, 1985. p.293-294.

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