Session at the European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow University, Scotland, UK, 11 - 14 April 2012 (Network Social Inequality)
Organizers: DaniŽlle Teeuwen and Marco van Leeuwen (IISH)
Before the welfare state, in many countries and regions collections were indispensable for the financing of poor relief. In most pre-industrial societies, there was no uniform poor tax (with England being an exception), so charitable institutions depended very much on the generosity of the citizens. Small gifts were collected from all layers of society: people contributed to public door-to-door collections, collections held during service or to the alms boxes which were placed at a variety of locations in the cities.
Despite the importance of small-scale giving, not much research has yet been done on (semi-) anonymous giving through public collections and church offertories. A closer examination of the proceeds of collections and the practice of collecting provides valuable insight in giving behaviour and answers questions as: who gave to collections? What did people give? How important were the proceeds of the collections for financing philanthropy? Were the collections a stable source of income, or did they change notably with economic swings or organizational differences? How were collections scheduled and organized? Why did people donate to public or church collections? Were they encouraged by ministers or municipal authorities?
We would like to invite contributions from all periods and countries. Please send your paper proposal (c. 500 words) as soon as possible, but before 15 April 2011 to DaniŽlle Teeuwen: firstname.lastname@example.org
PhD student NWO-project Giving in the Golden Age
International Institute of Social History
PO Box 2169
1000 CD Amsterdam
# 31 20 6685866 Email: email@example.com
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