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Virginia Insley Papers

A description of her papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Insley, Virginia.
Title: Virginia Insley Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1949-1998
Quantity: 1.5 linear ft.
Abstract: American social worker, child and maternal health advocate. Extensive published and printed material has been cataloged. Manuscript collection contains correspondence-subject files, most relating to a decade-long grant-funded project, and writings of both Insley and her colleague Kazuye Kumabe.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Virginia Insley (1912-2003) was an American social worker known for her steadfast promotion of high standards in social work education and practice in maternal and child health programs. She worked for the U.S. Children's Bureau as chief of the medical social services section, Division of Maternal and Child Health Services, a position she held for more than 20 years.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Virginia Insley Papers consists of correspondence-subject files and writings.

The majority of the Correspondence-subject files deal with a decade-long grant-funded project ("Project #267"), the purpose of which was to "develop a social work student training program to prepare social workers in health settings providign health services for mothers and children particularly handicapped children." This material includes grant applications, correspondence, budgets, resumes and progress reports. Other subject files deal with joint departmental work at the University of Hawaii's schools of public health and social work, correspondence regarding several publications on the subjects of maternal and child health, student practicums, and other related topics. Insley was closely involved with the project for many years, along with her colleague at the University of Hawaii, Kazuye Kumabe.

Writings are evenly divided between those by Insley and those by Kumabe, and include both published and manuscript items. Kumabi's autobiography, Rainbow on the Horizon : A Personal and Professional Journey.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence-subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Writings are subdivided by author and within that are arranged alphabetically by title.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The vast majority of the printed and published items have been removed from the collection and transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog and search on "Gift of Virginia Insley" to locate these items.

See also the Benjamin Spock Papers and related collections.

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Subject Headings


Baker, Edith M., 1885-1978.
Insley, Virginia .
Kumabe, Kazuye, 1922-

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Children's Bureau -- History.


Child welfare -- United States.
Children -- Health and hygiene.
Maternal and infant welfare.
Women -- Health and hygiene.

Genres and Forms

Speeches (documents)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Virginia Insley Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Virginia Insley.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 12 Oct 2010
Revision history: 11 Aug 2011 - updated separated material; 29 Jun 2012 - processed (MRC)

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Bridging ethnocultural diversities in social work and health (book) 1985-1987 - publisher correspondence; requests for copies
Box 1 Epidemiological approach (workshop) 1986
Box 1 Ethnocultural factors in social work and health care: An annotated bibliograpy (book) - publisher correspondence; requests for copies
Box 1 Fundraising for maternal and child health (workshop) 1996
Box 1 Handbook for social work education and practice in community health settings (book) 1976-1986 - publisher correspondence; requests for copies
Box 1 Health specialization 1976
Box 1 Joint SPH/SSW planning 1971-1985 - joint departmental efforts between the School of Public Health and School of Social Welfare at the University of Hawaii
Project #267
Box 1 About - objectives, summary, miscellaneous
Box 1 Correspondence 1962, 1964, 1969-1987 (6 folders)
Box 1 Progress reports 1964-1989
Box 2 Progress reports 1969-1985 - bound volume (6 folders)
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Box 2 Student practicum 1982-1985
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Insley, Virginia
Box 3 Contributions of social case workers to the teaching of interns 1949 - Insley's master's thesis, University of Washington - Seattle
Current status of state-wide social services: Issues and strategies 1981
See Miscellaneous collected writings, below
Box 3 Health services: Maternal and child health 1977 - published in National Encyclopedia of Social Work
Box 3 A home care medical program to meet the needs of individuals and families 1951 - published in Selected Papers: National Council of Social Work
Box 3 Maternal and child health 1998 - speech to National Association of Social Workers at the 100th anniversary of the social work profession
Box 3 Prevention and publich health social work undated
Box 3 Program consultation 1956 - presented at Institute of Training Workshop Leaders, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work; republished later
Program planning 1982
See Miscellaneous collected writings, below
Box 3 Public health social work: Our heritage 1998 - presented at Fourth Annual Public Health Social Work Conference, North Carolina State University
Box 3 Research in maternal and child health care: A historical perspective 1981
Box 3 The roots of public health social work 1994 - presented at the 50th anniversary of social service, South Carolina Dept. of Health and Environmental Control
Box 3 Sick children benefit from a city's home-care program 1953 - published in The Child, Vol. 17, No. 5; a handwritten annotation by Insley states that the paper "was butchered by the editor and illustrated unsuitably"
Box 3 Social work consultation in public health [1970?]
Box 3 Social work practice in service delivery to children with handicapping conditions: Historical overview, current and future needs 1981
Box 3 Some implications of recent legislation for social work 1964 - published in Mothers at Risk, Florence Haselkron, ed.
Box 3 Some observations on social work in health programs for families, mothers, and children undated
Box 3 Miscellaneous collected writings - plastic comb-bound volume; all but two appear elsewhere in the collection
Kumabe, Kazuye
Box 3 Autboiography, Rainbow on the Horizon 1997
Box 3 Cultural values affecting the fertility behavior of Hawaiians and part-Hawaiians 1970
Box 3 An example of program consultation 1974 - presented at working conference on evaluating the impact of social work consultation, Case Wester Reserve University
Box 3 Psychological aspects of contraceptive practice 1973 - presented at Philippine Public Health Association meeting, Manila, P.I.
Box 3 Relationship between female labor force participation and fertility 1976 - research proposal to the East-West Center Population Initiative
Box 3 Report of sabbatical leave 1985 - summary of Kumabe's activities during sabbatical semester, July - Dec.
Box 3 Seminar in counseling in family planning as family life planning 1974 - presented to faculty and students at the School of Applied Sciences, Case Western Reserve University
Box 3 Sex-role attitudes in the social work profession: Implications for social work education 1980
Other or unknown authors
Box 3 Miscellaneous - book chapter; paper on program guidance material, possibly by Insley; unidentified reference lists; paper on block grants; list of social work institute topics; article on yin-yang way to health by Wu; case study, "The transfer of the children's bureau," by E. Drexel Godfrey

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