Use secondary sources to:
Below you will find Reference Books and Journal Article Databases.
You may also want to check out the Social Welfare History Group website. A division of the American Historical Association (also closely affiliated with NASW and CSWE), the SWHG "encourage[s] the teaching of history and the value of doing historical research on social work and social welfare through presentations at conferences, publication of bibliographies and articles and dissertations."
Some recommendations for specific titles. You can also use a reference database like SAGE Knowledge to search across multiple titles at once. Or identify other subject-specific encyclopedias and handbooks in the library catalog.
SSA is the main disciplinary database for social work and closely related fields. Indexing goes back to articles published in 1980. Relevant subject terms to include in your search:
"history of social work"
The key database for American (and Canadian) history. Indexing goes back to articles published in 1910. Relevant subject terms to include in your search:
Also try including the keyword phrase "social welfare"
For those that need non-U.S. international history articles, this database provides access to historical articles for the Modern period (1450 to the present) for Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Latin America.
Consult the Social Work Resources guide for a more complete listing of options.