Museo Social Argentino

Museo Social Argentino (MSA) was founded on May 23rd, 1911 on the initiative of Tomás Amadeo. Its sole purpose was to look into Argentina’s social issues and provide society with solutions to solve them.

MSA owes its name to the Musée Social in Paris. Musée should be understood as “a building or place devoted to the study of sciences, humanities and the liberal arts”.

Tomás Amadeo considered that creating the Museo Social in Buenos Aires would address the needs of an institution of advanced studies on social economy. It is in this Museo Social that intellectuals —used to individual, isolated documenting processes— would acknowledge the need for academic cooperation under scientific rigour and discipline, which would undoubtedly result in more fruitful, comprehensive study.

Thus, MSA would have two basic functions. On the one hand, it would collect data on Argentina’s economic and social organization. On the other hand, it would organise and classify that data into documents available for ‘scholars’. The willingness to share knowledge, to make the information gathered in those studies and research work easily understood by the masses came hand in hand with a strong desire to spread our country’s both scientific knowledge and output abroad.

Back in 1925, Buenos Aires City was the site for the Psychotechnical Assessment and Vocational Guidance Centre —which fell under the Ministry of Justice and Public Instruction. This Centre provided complementary education to each and every teacher working not only in secondary or special education schools but also in teacher training colleges. Later on, because of the unfavourable economic conditions prevailing at the time, the Ministry of Justice ceased to allocate funds for the Psychotechnical Assessment and Vocational Guidance Centre and so, the Museo Social Argentino offered to take over it. This is how the “Professional and Vocational Guidance Centre” began to function.

In 1927, the Museo became part of the Universidad de Buenos Aires as an independent body. It was a natural step to take for many of the Museo Social Argentino’s Board members were teaching at Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

In 1930, Museo Social Argentino established the School of Social Services, the very first one both in the country and in Latin America. Three years later, in 1933, MSA created the Social Aid Council, mostly destined to combat unemployment. It functioned until 1934. It is worth mentioning that the School of Social Services was recognized in France, in 1932, as a result of having participated in the International Conference on Social Work, which took place in Paris in 1928 and included schools from nineteen different countries.

Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA)

Universidad del Museo Social Argentino was founded as a private university on November 5th, 1928, on the initiative of Museo Social Argentino’s Chairman, Guillermo Garbarini Islas.

The academic and non-academic activities to which UMSA devotes itself keep reasserting UMSA’s founding vocation to address the most pressing social issues, as well as their respective legal, economic and environmental concomitants.

From its inception, UMSA has fostered its role as an educational institution, conducted studies and contributed to gaining in-depth knowledge through different centres, each one of them defined according to its own scientific identity: the Research Centre; the Political, Economic and Strategic Studies Centre; the Interdisciplinary Studies on Social Security Centre; the Advanced Studies on Argentinian Civil and Comparative Law Centre; the Criminal Law and Criminology Centre; and the Bioethics Centre.

UMSA offers 20 graduate and 8 postgraduate degree programmes. Its academic structure is based on five schools:

  1. School of Law and Social Sciences
  2. School of Economics
  3. School of Arts
  4. School of Modern Languages
  5. School of Humanities

While focused on carrying out this myriad of activities, leading towards the common good and personal development, both the Museo Social Argentino and the university it fathered, Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA), have always excelled at providing society with those services that conform to the institution´s original goals and ideas, which shape their history and actions in accordance with their traditions of freedom, justice and social solidarity.