1845, from back slum "dirty back alley of a city, street of poor or low people" (1825), originally a slang or cant word meaning "room," especially "back room" (1812), of unknown origin. Related: slums. Slumscape is from 1947.
"visit slums of a city," especially for diversion or amusement, often under guise of philanthropy, 1884, from slum (n.). A pastime popularized by East End novels. Earlier it meant "to visit slums for disreputable purposes or in search of vice" (1860). Related: Slumming.