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Alice L. Edwards Papers, 1895-1962

By Faye Harkins and Rachel Lilley

Collection Overview

Title: Alice L. Edwards Papers, 1895-1962

ID: MSS EdwardsAlice

Primary Creator: Edwards, Alice L. (Alice Leora) (1882-)

Extent: 1.25 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The papers consists of eight series: 1. Biographical Materials, 1917-1962; 2. Correspondence, 1916-1961; 3. Diaries, 1925; 4. Clippings and Publications, 1906-1959; 5. Coursework and Teaching Materials, 1905-1956; 6. Ephemera, 1906-1956; 7. Photographs and Artwork, 1895-1956; and 8. Certificates and Awards, 1908-1955.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The materials in this collection were generated and/or collected by Alice L. Edwards, a 1906 graduate of Oregon Agricultural College. They document her career as a home economist and include materials related to her personal life. The collection contains correspondence, clippings and publications, photographs and artwork, certificates and awards, ephemera, coursework and teaching materials, and two diaries kept by Edwards on a trip to Europe in 1925.

Scope and Content Notes

The first series, Biographical materials, includes Edwards' college transcripts, curriculum vitae, letters of reference and newspaper clippings regarding her publications and career advancement.

The second series is comprised of personal and professional correspondence, including correspondence relating to her work with the American Home Economics Association, lists of land grant institutions that offered home economics for teacher training, and her work with the National Canners' Association to standardize the size and labeling of consumer products.

Two diaries, kept by Edwards during her trip to Europe in 1925 with the World Student Christian Federation comprise the third series.

The fourth series is comprised primarily of publications and clippings. The majority of the publications and clippings in this series were written by others.

The fifth series, Coursework and Teaching Materials, contains materials related to Oregon Agricultural College, including the Golden Jubilee Reunion of the Class of 1906, and an article written by Edwards entitled Early Oregon State. Of particular note is a collection of responses to a questionnaire Edwards sent to alumni of the OAC 1905-06 Home Economics program regarding the effectiveness of the program and its effect on their lives (Box 3, Folder 1).

The sixth series contains personal ephemera, including pamphlets, theater bills, and event programs. Of special note in this series is a pamphlet for a "Birth Control Mass Meeting" held in Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York in 1916. Guest speakers included Emma Goldman, with a special appearance by Margaret Sanger (Box 3, Folder 8).

The seventh series contains photographs and artwork. The photographs are exclusively black and white, and the artwork including etchings and a sketchbook.

Series eight consists of certificates and awards, including Edwards' 1908 certificate to teach in the public schools of Oregon and Rhode Island, and a Meritorious Service Award from the Office of Price Administration, recognizing Edwards' service to the "war effort."

Biographical / Historical Notes

Alumna Alice Leora Edwards was born April 19, 1882 in Monroe, Oregon to Louis Edwards and Margaret Whealdon Edwards. As a young woman, Edwards taught at the Bellfountain country school before attending Oregon Agricultural College (OSU), graduating in 1906 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics.

From 1909 to 1915, Edwards taught Zoology and Entomology at OAC, and later served as a Student Assistant in the Biology department at Teachers College, Columbia University from 1915 to 1917. She received her M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1917. From 1917 to 1918 she was Assistant Professor of Dietetics at the University of Minnesota, and between 1921 and 1926 served as Dean of Home Economics at Rhode Island State College.

In 1925, Edwards, a member of the World Student Christian Federation, traveled with the group to Europe to encourage and coordinate the work of existing national student Christian movements after the devastation of World War I. In 1940, Edwards completed her Doctorate of Education at Columbia University Teachers College, and the next year became the Dean of Home Economics at Mary Washington College at the University of Virginia at Fredericksburg, a position she held until her retirement from academic life in 1951.

Edwards also served as Executive Secretary of the American Home Economics Association from 1926 until 1936. In her capacity with the Association, she represented the organization on the Council of American Standards, the Women's Joint Congressional Committee, and served on the President's Advisory Committee on Education. During her career, she edited Scientific Consumer Purchasing: A Study Guide for the Consumer (1939), co-authored Consumer Standards (1941) and wrote Product Standards and Labeling for Consumers (1940). She devoted her career to advocating for standardized size and labels for consumer goods.

Edwards moved back to Oregon in 1951 and died in Corvallis, Oregon on July 4, 1962.

Author: Faye Harkins

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 5 boxes, including 1 oversize box; 70 photographs

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: The materials were donated to Oregon State College in 1961.

Related Materials:

SCARC's holdings include nearly eighty collections relating to home economics at Oregon Agricultural College, including the College of Home Economics and Education Records (RG 141), the College of Home Economics Motion Picture Films and Videotapes (FV 044), the College of Home Economics Photograph Collection (P 044), the College of Home Economics Oral Histories (OH 011), and the Ava Milam Clark Papers (MSS ClarkAvaM).         

Materials pertaining to Oregon Agricultural College alumni can be found in the Alumni Association Records (RG 035), and many other collections.

Preferred Citation: Alice L. Edwards Papers (MSS EdwardsAlice), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid replaces an earlier version created in 2003.


Edwards, Alice L. (Alice Leora) (1882-)
American Home Economics Association. Committee on Standardization of Consumers' Goods
Kaidanovsky, Samuel P.

People, Places, and Topics

American Home Economics Association
Commercial products--Specifications.
Consumer education--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Consumer education--Study and teaching.
Edwards, Alice L. (Alice Leora), 1882-
Home economics--Study and teaching (Higher)
Home economics students--Oregon--Corvallis.
Labels--Standards--United States.
Oregon Agricultural College. Class of 1906
Oregon Agricultural College. School of Home Economics
Oregon State College--Alumni and alumnae.
University History
World Student Christian Federation

Forms of Material

Etchings (prints).
Photograph albums.
Photographic prints.

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1917-1962
Series 1, Biographical Materials, includes Edwards' college transcripts, curriculum vitae, letters of reference and newspaper clippings regarding her publications and career advancement.
Box-Folder 1.1: Transcripts, publication list, letters of recommendation, 1917-1962
Series 2: Correspondence, 1916-1961
Included in this series is correspondence concerning her work updating the book Scientific Consumer Purchasing: A Study Guide for Consumers and the publication of her work Product Standards and Labeling for Consumers.
Box-Folder 1.2: Personal, 1919-1961
Box-Folder 1.3: Professional, 1916-1936
Box-Folder 1.4: Professional, 1937-1956
Series 3: Diaries, 1925
The diaries in this series include information about activities and experiences aboard the out-going vessel the S.S. Andania; landing at London; and the various cities visited, including Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, Vienna, and Geneva. An itinerary for the trip is included with the first diary (Box 1, Folder 5).
Box-Folder 1.5: Women's Student Pilgrimage itinerary and diary, circa 1925
Box-Folder 1.6: Diary, 1925
Series 4: Clippings and Publications, 1906-1959
Included in this series are book reviews, consumer education articles, and materials related to the Langworthy Dietary Survey. Of special note in this series are reports prepared by Bertha Edwards, Alice's sister, for the East Harlem Nursing and Health Service of New York City, for which Bertha was the Supervisor of Nutrition (Box 2, Folder 1).
Box-Folder 1.7: Advisory Committee on Education, 1937
Box-Folder 1.8: American Standards Association, 1930-1936
Box-Folder 1.9: The Atlantic Monthly, 1936, 1939
Box-Folder 1.10: Book reviews, conference reports, 1939, 1942
Box-Folder 1.11: The Commentator, 1939
Box-Folder 1.12: Consumer Education articles, 1931-1939
Box-Folder 2.1: Food and Nutrition articles, 1926-1953
Box-Folder 2.2: Gender [women's pay, Why Women Work], 1938-1953
Box-Folder 2.3: Harper's Monthly, 1934-1935
Box-Folder 2.4: Home Economics, 1928-1954
Box-Folder 2.5: Home Economics and Home-making, 1935-1936
Box-Folder 2.6: Industrial Standards, undated
Box-Folder 2.7: Land Grant College Association, 1930-1941
Box-Folder 2.8: Langworthy Dietary Studies, 1918
Box-Folder 2.9: Poetry, circa 1922
Box-Folder 2.10: Teachers' Salaries: Are They Too Low?, undated
Box-Folder 2.11: United States Department of Agriculture; Office of Education, 1912-1945
Box-Folder 2.12: Product Standards on Labeling for Consumers, 1939
Box-Folder 2.13: Published by Alice Edwards, 1931-1940
Box-Folder 2.14: Vox Studentium, 1926
Box-Folder 5.1: Langworthy Dietary Studies: Menus, undated
Box-Folder 5.2: Alice L. Edwards, Things that We All Want Alike: Buying Information for the Spring Bride; assorted clippings, 1925-1952
Box-Folder 5.3: Essays: Nature, Survival of the Fittest; Fifth Anniversary Address, Philomath College, circa 1900
Series 5: Coursework and Teaching Materials, 1905-1956
Of particular note in this series is a collection of responses to a questionnaire Edwards sent to alumni of the OAC 1905-06 Home Economics program regarding the effectiveness of the program and its effect on their lives (Box 3, Folder 1). Included with the survey are lists of Home Economics alumni for the years 1889 through 1907, a draft of the letter sent to questionnaire recipients, and letters from recipients who chose not to complete the questionnaire.
Box-Folder 2.15: Columbia University, 1939-1940
Box-Folder 3.1: Oregon Agricultural College, Home Economics Questionnaire, 1924-1925
Box-Folder 3.2: Oregon State College, Golden Jubilee Reunion, 1956
Box-Folder 3.3: Oregon State College, Home Economics Association, Early Oregon State, undated
Box-Folder 3.4: Oregon Agricultural College, OAC Barometer, 1905
This item has been digitized.
Box-Folder 3.5: Rhode Island State College, 1925
Series 6: Ephemera, 1906-1956
Included in this series are personal ephemera, including pamphlets, theater bills, and event programs, including a pamphlet for a "Birth Control Mass Meeting" held in Carnegie Hall in New York City, New York in 1916 (Box 3, Folder 8).
Box-Folder 3.6: Pamphlets: Europe trip, 1906-1925
Box-Folder 3.7: Pamphlets: Phi Upsilon Omicron Constitution and Bylaws; Oregon Agricultural College, School of Domestic Science and Art, Camp Cookery, 1912, 1936
Box-Folder 3.8: Pamphlets: New York Birth Control Committee Mass Meeting; Manners in Public Places, 1916, 1925
Box-Folder 3.9: Theater bills, programs, and flyers, 1916-1956
Series 7: Photographs and Artwork, 1895-1956
Included in this series is a group photograph of the opening of the Celilo Canal on the Columbia River in 1913, with Oregon Senator Nathan Whealdon and L.N. Edwards in attendance; the OAC senior class of 1906; various photographs taken during Edwards' trip to Europe in 1925; and family photographs. Also included are photographs of the Oregon Agricultural College campus as well as of the campus of Washington State College in Pullman, Washington. The etchings in the series were likely purchased by Edwards during her travels through Europe in 1924-1925; the sketches, done by an unidentified artist, depict humorous events and/or interactions, done in the style of cartoons. Some of the captions for the sketches are in German, which suggest these sketches were done by Edwards during her travels in Europe.
Box-Folder 4.1: Photograph album, circa 1906
The photograph album contains 62 black and white prints. Subjects include scenic views of Mt. Hood and surrounding area; group shots and individual photographs of Oregon Agricultural College's Class of 1906; views of the OAC campus; family photographs; and hiking and picnicing scenes (presumably also near Mt. Hood). The pages have been removed from the album and individually sleeved.
Box-Folder 4.2: Alice Edwards portrait, Golden Jubilee photographs, circa 1956
Box-Folder 4.3: Sketchbook and etchings, undated
Box-Folder 5.4: Group photograph, Opening of the Celilo Canal on the Columbia River, circa 1913
Box-Folder 5.5: Painting of Alice Edwards [print]; wood block print of The Acropolis, undated
Series 8: Certificates and Awards, 1908-1955
Series eight consists of certificates and awards, including Edwards' certificates to teach in the public schools of Oregon and Rhode Island.
Box-Folder 4.4: Certificates and Awards, 1910-1955
Oregon Teacher's Certification (1908); Rhode Island Teacher's Certification (1921); Pi Lambda Theta "Key" certificate (1938); OSU Foundation Sustaining Member Award (1955)
Box-Folder 5.6: Certificates and Awards, 1923-1945
Phi Kappa Phi membership certificate, Rhode Island State College (1923); Meritorious Service Award, United States Office of Price Administration (1945)

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