Jessie E. Dean was employed by the Los County Department of Charities from 1919 to 1943, and served as Supervisor in the successive Divisions of Outdoor Relief, County Welfare and Indigent Relief. A citation of appreciation from her fellow workers, found in this collection, noted that she was the first, or "near first" trained social worker to practice in Los Angeles. Certainly she was a founding member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Association of Social Workers, begun in 1923, and also of its journal "The Lens", published from 1926-37. A 1916-17 bulletin of the Chicago School of Civics and Philanthropy, annotated in Dean's handwriting, indicates that she studied there and was taught by Edith Abbott and Sophonisba Breckinridge. The collection, made up of a miscellany of professional papers accumulated during Dean's career and preserved by a co-worker on her retirement, reflects the high level of personal dedication, social conscience, and moral conviction characteristic of social workers of her generation. A strong teaching ethic is evident in the detailed instructional outlines she compiled for the training of new "visitors" and student social workers. The collection contains descriptive annual reports for the County Welfare Division, from 1921-32 and for 1935, written by Dean for delivery to the Board of Supervisors by her Superintendent. In effect these long accounts are vivid essays on social welfare conditions prevailing in Los Angeles during the hectic population increase of the 1920s followed by the Depression. The gradually changing tone of the reports, as professional social workers found themselves transformed into emergency relief dispensers, indicates the difficult adaptation required of Dean and her co-workers in the early 1930s. Also included in the collection is a manuscript draft of a critical account of County Welfare operations in 1925, journals, reprints, pamphlets, articles, sermons, seminar notes and transcripts, reports, teaching materials and book excerpts and outlines, together with some examples of intake forms used by Dean's office during the Depression.