Guide to the American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund Collection
NMAH.AC.1199

Administrative Information

Repository Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2012

P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
Phone: 202-633-3270
archivescenter@si.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Fees for commercial reproduction.

Custodial History note

Originally housed in the United States National Museum, Arts and Industries Building, Division of Foods. The original accession number was 67854. The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in 2010 by the Division of Work and Industry.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated to the United States National Museum by the American Relief Administration, through Mr. Messerole on February 6, 1922.

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Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator
American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund
Title
American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund Collection
ID
NMAH.AC.1199
Date [inclusive]
1919-1921
Extent
0.3 Cubic feet, 1 box, 1 oversize folder
Language
German
Language of Materials note
Some materials in English.
Abstract
The collection consists of photographs and printed materials (almost exclusively in German), documenting the relief efforts of the American Relief Administration (A.R.A.), European Children's Fund (E.C.F.) (Mission to Austria), 1920-1921, to feed malnourished children in Europe in the post-World War I era. The photographs, publications and charts in this collection specifically relate to children in Vienna and other Austrian cities.

Preferred Citation note

American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund Collection, 1919-1921, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

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Biographical/Historical note

The American Relief Administration (A.R.A.) was formed by the United States Congress in 1919 as a relief mission to Europe after World War I. Herbert Hoover, future president of the United States, was the program director. A humanitarian organization, A.R.A. was tasked with alleviating the suffering of European children in the years after World War I.

In 1919, a special Children's Relief Bureau was organized within the A.R.A. Many European children being cared for were orphans, and many had suffered malnourishment during the war. Hoover insisted that aid be provided to them. Although the new A.R.A. European Children's Fund (E.C.F) was an outgrowth of the A.R.A. which acted as an agent of the United States government, the European Children's Fund was a private volunteer organization for the promotion of charitable causes. While the E.C.F. did not have a formal charter, the food supplies were donated from the Congressional appropriation and the president's National Security and Defense Fund. The E.C.F. operated for five years, from 1919 to 1924. It was headquartered in New York City with a branch office in London and began operations in August, 1919. Field missions were located in Finland, Estonia, northwest Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The E.C.F. relied heavily upon the assistance and cooperation of other organizations such as the European Relief Council, Red Cross, American Friends Service Committee, and the Y.M.C.A. A system of central and regional warehouses was maintained . Children needing aid met the following requirements: registration through a school, investigation by a local committee, and a physical examination by a local physician. All feeding of children was done in special kitchens setup at institutions, orphanages, or hospitals. In most countries a noonday meal was served and every child was issued a card which was punched for each meal received.

Child-feeding programs in Austria began on May 5, 1919. The method for feeding and selecting children in Austria was developed by Dr. Clemens von Pirquet (1874-1929) of Vienna University Children's Hospital. Pirquent's method was known as the Pelidisi formula which is the ratio between the sitting height and the weight of the child. The Pelidisi norm was expressed as 100, but with children it was 94.5 since they did not carry as much fat. Children with a Pelidisi of 94 were considered underfed and those under 93 were admitted to a feeding center immediately. Examinations of children were repeated at frequent intervals.

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Scope and Contents note

The collection consists of photographs and printed materials (all in German), documenting the efforts of the American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund (Mission to Austria), to feed malnourished children in Europe in the post-World War I era. The photographs, publications and charts in this collection specifically relate to children in Vienna and other Austrian cities.

Series 1, Photographs, 1920-1921, consists of black and white copy prints documenting children being fed or playing, kitchen scenes, and dormitory scenes throughout Austria. There are two images depicting the Pedilisi score for two unidentified boys. Some of the prints are captioned.

Series 2, Printed Materials and Charts, 1919-1921, includes writings by Clemens Peter Freiherr von Pirquet (1874–1929) an Austrian scientist and pediatrician best known for his contributions to the fields of bacteriology and immunology. Pirquet worked with the American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund in Austria and developed the Pedilisi method of determining a child's level of malnourishment.

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Arrangement note

The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1, Photographs, 1920-1921

Series 2, Printed Materials and Charts, 1919-1921

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Materials at Other Organizations

Hoover Institution Archives

Register of the American Relief Administration. European Operations Records, 1919-1923 http://findingaids.stanford.edu/xtf/view?docId=ead/hoover/araeurope.xml;query=;brand=default (accessed on July 5, 2012)

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Pamphlets
  • Photographs--1920-1930

Geographic Name(s)

  • Austria

Subject(s)

  • Children--Austria
  • Humanitarian assistance--1920-1930--Austria
  • Relief and volunteer organizations--1920-1930--Austria

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Bibliography

Hoover, Herbert. An American Epic. Volume: 3. Chicago: H. Regnery Company, 1959.

Surface, Frank M. and Raymond l. Bland. American Food in the World War and Reconstruction Period. Operations of the the Organizations under the Direction of Herbert Hoover, 1914 to 1924. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1931.

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1, Photographs, 1920-1921

Box
1
Folder
1

 Series 2, Printed Materials and Charts, 1919-1921

Nobel, Edmund. Principles of Professor Pirquet's System of Nutrition, 1921


  Box Folder
Text   1 2

Pirquet, Clemens. Die Amerikanische Rinder Hilfsaktion in Osterreich (  American Cattle Relief Effort in Austria), 1920


  Box Folder
Text   1 3

Pirquet, Clemens. Pelidisi-Table, 1921


  Box Folder
Text   1 4

Ernährungs-unde Osterreichischer Almanach für Ernährung (  Nutritional Diet for Customer: Austrian Almanac), 1921-1922


  Box Folder
Text   1 5

Die Jahresfeier der Amerikanischen Kinderhilfsaktion ( The Annual Celebration of the American Relief Effort, the child firmly in the park of the Castle Schonbrunn) (2 copies), undated


  Box Folder
Text   1 6

Mitteilungen der American Relief Administration, Die Jahresfeier der Amerikanischen Kinderhilfsaktion das fest im park des Schlosses Schonbrunn (  Communications of the American Relief Administration, the annual celebration of the American relief effort, the child firmly in the park of the Castle Schonbrunn), 1921 June


  Box Folder
Text   1 7

Mitteilungen der American Relief Administration, Schülerspeisung in den Städten und Kleineren Orten Niederösterreichs (  Releases for the American Relief Administration Students Feed into the Smaller Cities and Locations down in Austria), 1921 August


  Box Folder
Text   1 7

Mitteilungen der American Relief Administration, Erfolge der preisausschreiben für kinder kuchen in niederosterreich (  Communications of the American Relief Administration), 1921 September


  Box Folder
Text   1 7

Recepte (  Recipes), 1919 November-1920 February


  Box Folder
Text   1 8

American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund organizational chart, 1920


  Map-case Drawer Folder
Text   2 2 1

American Relief Administration, European Children's Fund, one year's work (chart), 1920


  Map-case Drawer Folder
Text   2 2 1

View of the nourishment of school children in Upper-Austria (charts), 1920 November


  Map-case Drawer Folder
Text   2 2 2