Thursday, June 16, 2011

Social hygiene pamphlets

Oregon was a leader in the Progressive-era social hygiene movement. Many social hygiene principles, such as eugenics, are discredited. However, through the energies of the Oregon Social Hygiene Society, the state earned a national reputation for excellence in sex education and combating venereal disease.

Tucked in to our copy of the 1912 annual report of the Social Hygiene Society of Portland, Oregon (the Oregon Society's predecessor organization) are a handful of educational pamphlets and circulars. These include educational literature about venereal disease, and a sentimental essay by Congregationalist leader Lyman Abbott about the virtues of womanhood. Most of these ephemeral items were produced by the society around 1912.

We hold additional materials on social hygiene in our historical collections, including local publications in the PNW Collection. The records of the Oregon Social Hygiene Society are held at Oregon Historical Society.

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