Guides to Social Security History Archives

There are 12 individual Social Security-related collections at the WHS:

  1. Arthur J. Altmeyer
    Arthur Altmeyer was the head of the Social Security organization from its inception until 1953. He is a seminal figure in Social Security and his papers document the early years of the Social Security system in a comprehensive way.
  2. Robert M. Ball
    Robert Ball was a long-time top official at the U.S. Social Security Administration and the head of that organization from 1962 to 1972. His papers are quite voluminous and important in Social Security historical research.
  3. Wilbur J. Cohen
    Wilbur Cohen was the first professional employee of the U.S. Social Security Board in 1935. He was a major figure in Social Security policymaking for more than 50 years.
  4. Nelson Cruikshank
    Nelson Cruikshank was a union official and the head of the Social Security division of the AFL-CIO.
  5. Robert J. Myers (collection not yet processed)
    Robert Myers is an actuary and was for many years the country's top acturial expert on Social Security.
  6. Physicians Committee for Health Care for the Aged Through Social Security
    The Physicians Committee was pro-Social Security lobbying organization with a special interest in Medicare.
  7. Paul & Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush
    The Raushenbushs were important political figures in the early years of social insurance in the U.S., epecially in the area of unemployment insurance.
  8. Barkev Sanders
    Barkev Sanders was a researcher who specialized in Social Security and health care.
  9. Save Our Security organization
    S.O.S. was a political lobbying group founded in the late 1970s by Wilbur Cohen, Bob Ball and others to lobby for expanded and improved Social Security programs.
  10. Elizabeth Wickenden
    Elizabeth Wickenden was an important New Deal figure whose influence extended into the Johnson Administration and beyond.
  11. Edwin E. Witte
    Edwin Witte was the University of Wisconsin economist who was the Executive Director of the Committee on Economic Security in 1934 which designed the U.S. Social Security system. He papers are voluminous and very important.
  12. Melvin Wunsch
    Melvin Wunsch was an employee of the U.S. Social Security Administration for many years and he kept extensive documentation of his work on Social Security throughout his career.

Information for researchers on doing research at the Wisconsin Historical Society

The materials in the WHS are available to the public at the Society building in Madison, Wisconsin. Researchers should check the WHS web site for details about accessing and using the collections. (Note that while the collections are generally open, some collections might have access restrictions about which researchers will have to take note.)

The Social Security Collections are available through the Archives Reading Room.

Detailed information for researchers can be found on the WSHS web site:

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