[Back to Formatted Version]

College of Home Economics and Education Records, 1913-2000

Collection Overview

Title: College of Home Economics and Education Records, 1913-2000

Predominant Dates: 1952-1992

ID: RG 141

Primary Creator: Oregon State University. College of Home Economics and Education

Extent: 22.6 cubic feet

Arrangement: The records are organized into twenty series: I. Correspondence; II. Minutes; III. Reports/Studies; IV. Curriculum Development/Instruction; V. Policies and Procedures; VI. Grant Proposals; VII. Presentations/Speeches; VIII. Newspaper Clippings; IX. Newsletters; X. Theses/Student Papers; XI. Publications; XII. Historical Essays; XIII. Biographical Files; XIV. Awards; XV. Guestbooks; XVI. Scrapbooks; XVII. Book; XVIII. Wall Calendar; XIX. Extension Home Economics; and XX. Architectural Drawings/Book Plans.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


These records were generated by the College of Home Economics and Education. In addition to documenting administrative aspects of the College such as curriculum development, committee work, and funding, these records also highlight faculty and student research, programs in home economics at other colleges and universities, professional home economics organizations, updates on alumni, and the accreditation of the college.

Scope and Content Notes

Series I consists primarily of correspondence and memoranda, but also reports and brochures. Among the subjects addressed in this series include: the accreditation of the College, committee efforts, conferences, gifts, building renovations and additions, state legislation, the Oregon Home Economics Association (OHEA), the Peace Corps, and special events such as dedications and anniversaries. This series also contains letters sent by Ava Milam Clark for general distribution to the staff of the College which document her travels in Asia and the Middle East as a researcher and coordinator for the Home Economics study abroad program. In these letters, Clark details the cultural and academic life of several countries, including: China, Japan, Syria, Korea, and the Philippines. There are also travel letters similar to those of Clark's from two other staff members: Margaret Fedde and Frances Clinton documenting visits to Germany and France.

Series II consists of minutes of faculty meetings and committees. There are also minutes from committees outside of the College, including: the Home Economics Club, Governor's Subcommittee on Education, Women's Study Group, and the Western Home Economics Research Administrative Council. Series III consists of reports and studies relating to the accreditation of the college, faculty retreats, class field trips, conference proceedings, survey and research statistics of other college Home Economics programs, and departmental development plans. Included in this series are reports generated by professional organizations and research institutes such as: American Home Economics Association (AHEA), Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS), Western Regional Research Institute (WRRI), and the National Association of Land-Grant Colleges and State Universities (NALGCSU).

Series IV consists of materials relating to curriculum development and instruction and covers subjects such as pass/fail grading, summer term classes and publicity, enrollment data for Home Economics programs, theses granted by the College, and proposals for new degree programs. Records in this series include: Category I Proposals, correspondence, reports, brochures, and blank examination forms. Series V consists of correspondence and reports concerning the development of a guiding statement and objectives for the College, records retention, review and appeal guidelines, certification rules, the administrative code, job classification changes, and other policy and procedure issues.

Series VI pertains to grant proposals for the funding and development of various programs and projects including: a Women's Job Corps Center, a Gerontology Program at OSU, and a Head Start demonstration project in Oregon. Other proposals in this series include grants for specific research projects from departments in the College: Foods and Nutrition; Clothing, Textiles, and Related Arts; and the Family Life and Home Economics Administration. Series VII relates to slide presentations, radio programs, and speeches delivered by Home Economics faculty for classes, dedications, awards ceremonies, and media outreach. Among the materials in this series are: transcripts for speech and radio broadcasts, sound recordings of speeches and class lectures, slide show scripts, speech notes, and legislative testimony.

Series VIII consists of newspaper clippings from The Barometer, The Corvallis Gazette-Times, The Oregonian, The Oregon Journal, and other regional media relating to alumni and staff news and research, the Nutrition For Defense program, various anniversary events, building dedications, funding and curriculum issues, and the Oregon Home Economics Association (OHEA). Series IX are newsletters produced for the faculty and staff of the College of Home Economics, Extension Home Economics, and the Program on Gerontology. Series X contains theses and student papers prepared for degrees and various home economics classes. The topics of these papers include: student mortality, good grooming, home economics education in Asia, dress codes, and the fat content of eggs.

Series XI consists of articles, brochures, handbooks, magazines, and posters relating to events at OSU sponsored by the College of Home Economics, faculty publications and research, career information, the college nursery school, and the OSU Program on Gerontology. Included in this series are two volumes of bound publications. Entitled The House I and II, these volumes consist of a variety of bulletins and circulars printed by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, U.S. Dept. Of the Interior, the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Dept. Of Commerce, and the OSC Extension Service. Dating from 1928 to 1942, these publications pertain to housing construction and design, home furnishings, and maintenance.

Series XII consists of historical essays, outlines, and notes on the history of the OSU College of Home Economics, the college nursery school, the development of home economics in the U.S. and the American Home Economics Association (AHEA). Series XIII consists of biographical files of home economics faculty and alumni and primarily contain newspaper clippings and correspondence. Included in this series are lists of staff and distinguished alumni as well as a collection of faculty vitas compiled in 1982. Series XIV pertains to awards and honors bestowed to faculty and students including: scholarships, fellowships, the OSU Distinguished Service Award, and the Westly College of Home Economics Teacher/Counselor of the Year Awards.

Series XV contains guestbooks of visitors for tours, dedications, and other special events at the Family Study Center, Kent House, and the Withycombe House Management House. Series XVI consists of 5 scrapbooks, 4 of which relate to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Covering the years 1967 to 1978, the EFNEP scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings and photographs of EFNEP activities throughout the state, in particular summer youth camps sponsored by the program. The fifth scrapbook pertains to the refurbishing of the Home Economics Conference Suite and contains photographs of the room and lists of patrons and other donors. Series XVII is the book Adventures of a Home Economist by Ava Milam Clark. Series XVIII is a wall calendar for the year 1925 printed especially for the College of Home Economics featuring quotes and proverbs about the family, tips for childcare and food preparation, and images of family life at home.

Series XIX consists of brochures, correspondence, county plans of work, minutes, newsletters, and reports generated by the Office of Extension Home Economics (now Family Extension and Community Development). Included among the subjects addressed in this series are: EFNEP, OSU Mini-college, Oregon Extension Management Information System, and the Family Living Program.

Series XX are architectural drawings and book plans relating to the construction, renovation, and addition to various structures managed and used by the College of Home Economics: Milam Hall, Kent House, Nursery School, Home Management House, and 6 quonset hut buildings identified only as A-F. Also included in this series are specifications for the building of household cabinetry, shelving, and furniture in a series of drawings by Maud Wilson labeled "Storage Arrangements and Furnishings." Another set of drawings by Maud Wilson consist of specifications for the construction of six, four, and three bedroom farmhouses.

An addition to the College of Home Economics Records (Accession 2005:021) consists of student research papers on linen deterioration and the qualities of marilinn fabric. Conducted by Donald Spencer and James Dunn, the linen research study includes the samples that were tested for fading and washing machine endurance. The marilinn paper, which also contains samples, focuses upon the construction process of the fabric as well as its wearing characteristics. Marilinn is composed of 20% linen and 80% wool.

A second addition to the College of Home Economics Records (Accession 2007:076) is made up of publications and reports generated by the College of Home Economics. In addition to guides for the instruction of home economic curricula in Oregon preschool and secondary schools, this transfer also contains studies on vocational education, a handbook for on-site operation of a nutrition program for the elderly, and a job satisfaction survey report of Oregon home economics teachers. Historical timelines, notes, and other information on home economics history at OSU and the U.S. were also found with the publications and reports. Another item included in this transfer is a wall exhibit featuring five photographic images mounted to a larger foam core panel cut out in the shape of the state of Oregon. Depicting high school teachers and students engaged in food science and fashion merchandising projects, the exhibit is labeled "Oregon Home Economics-New Directions."

A third addition to the College of Home Economics Records (Accession 2008:017) is made up of a scrapbook assembled by alumnus Chiyono Matsushima that documents her involvement in a 1988 presentation at OSU on "Pioneers in Asian Home Economics." Primarily made up of photographs documenting her visit to campus and travels in Oregon, the scrapbook also contains maps, newspaper clippings, beverage coasters, postcards, and brochures. There are also materials in the scrapbook reflecting Matsushima's experience as a student at OSC. Her presentation was a part of the College of Home Economics' celebration of it's centennial in 1988/89. Also included in this transfer is a sound recording on cassette tape of a speech by alumna Yair Kami on the success of combining sports medicine and nutrition.

Biographical / Historical Notes

First established in 1889 as the Department of Household Economy and Hygiene, the College of Home Economics at OSU was the fifth such college program to be instituted in the U.S. and the first west of the Rocky Mountains. Margaret Comstock Snell served as the College's first Professor and Dean, a post she held until 1908. Having received a M.D., Snell's emphasis in her instruction and research was the importance of preventative health. Until 1895, when Mary Avery was hired as an assistant in sewing classes, Snell was the sole instructor and staff member of the department.

Initially only open to female students, the Department of Household Economy was one of four major areas of study (along with Agriculture, Mechanics and Pharmacy) offered by the College to students until about 1910. Within two years of the establishment of the department, options for a three-year and four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Household Economy and Letters degree were available to students. By 1897, these options were consolidated into a four-year program for a Bachelor of Science degree and as well as an option for Masters' in Household Science degree. For the undergraduate degree in Home Economics, the department developed a three tiered curricula, known after 1933 as Curricula A, B, and C. This system differentiated between students training for a professional career (teaching or social work) and those intending to apply their education at home.

In the first years of the department, a basic core curriculum of subjects were offered without specialization. These courses included: sewing, cooking, gardening, care of the sick, hygiene, social etiquette, and dressmaking. In 1908, two departments were formed in what was then renamed the School of Domestic Science and Art. The formation of these two departments, Domestic Science and Art, signaled an increasing specialization of the school with classes described in the catalog in the following groupings by 1919: Household Science, Household Art, Household Administration, Institutional Management, Applied Design, and the Industrial Education Group. As the school expanded in scope and size, these two departments underwent several name changes and divisions from which new departments were created (see list below). Meanwhile, a training program in gerontology was formed in 1972 as OSU became a member of the Oregon Center Gerontology Consortium. In 1983, the school was renamed to the College of Home Economics. In 1989, the College re-organized into three departments which reflect it's current form: Apparel, Interiors, Housing and Merchandising; Nutrition and Food Management; and Human Development Family and Sciences.

Another important aspect of the college has been Home Economics Education, which was administered in the School of Education from 1918 until 1994, when the School of Education merged with the College of Home Economics to form the College of Home Economics and Education. Home Economics Extension and Experiment Station Research are major functions of the College of Home Economics.

Originally housed on the third floor of Benton Hall, the department moved from Kidder Hall, then to Waldo Hall, and finally to Agriculture Hall before moving to its present location in the Home Economics Building in 1914. In addition to the Home Economics Building, the college managed several nursery schools and "practice houses" for courses in childcare and home management. The first practice house, Withycombe House, was established in 1917.

Administrative Information

Statement on Access: Some of the files in series XIV (Awards) may contain confidential information. Access subject to review by Archivist.

Related Materials:

In addition to the records of the College of Home Economics, the Special Collections and Archives Research Center also has institutional records for individual departments in the college. Included are the Apparel, Interiors, Housing, and Merchandising Depatment Records (RG 028), Nutrition and Food Management Department Records (RG 217), and the Human Development and Family Sciences Department Records (RG 085). The Center also has the School of Education Records (RG 184).

There are also the College of Home Economics Photograph Collection (P 044) and Home Economics Extension Photographs (P 115). The Center has a number of collections of personal papers and records from alumni and faculty of the College of Home Economics, including the Ava Milam Clark Papers (MSS Clark) and the Betty E. Hawthorne Collection (MSS Hawthorne), both Deans of the College. Records from home economic clubs and organizations such the Oregon Home Economics Association (MSS OHEA) can also be found in the Center's holdings.

Preferred Citation: College of Home Economics and Education Records (RG 141), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Oregon State University. College of Home Economics and Education
Clark, Ava Milam (1884-1976)
Hawthorne, Betty Eileen

People, Places, and Topics

Accreditation (Education)
American Home Economics Association
Home economics--International cooperation.
Home economics--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--History.
Home economics--Study and teaching--Oregon.
Home economics extension work--Oregon.
Home economics students--Oregon.
Home economists--Oregon.
National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
Oregon Agricultural College. School of Home Economics
Oregon Home Economics Association
Oregon State College. School of Home Economics
Oregon State University. College of Home Economics
Oregon State University. College of Home Economics and Education
Oregon State University. School of Home Economics

Forms of Material


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.