Rare and Manuscript Collections

Farmers' Wives Reading Club, circa 1915.
Farmers' Wives Reading Club, circa 1915

Archival records, rare books, and photographic images about the evolution of studies associated with home economics and human ecology at Cornell, especially human nutrition, family relationships, and consumer economics, are available in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections of the Cornell University Library.

This major repository, located in the Carl A. Kroch Library, contains over 7,000 collections including the records of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), formerly the American Home Economics Association (AHEA) and the records of Cornell's New York State College of Human Ecology and the earlier records of the College of Home Economics (1900-1968)

These include:

  • administrative records and correspondence tracing the creation and history of the college, including faculty papers and oral histories;
  • records of research and consultation done throughout the world, such as research on emergency and disaster feeding during the World Wars and international exchange programs for scholars;
  • student scrapbooks and records of the Practice Apartment and other undergraduate activities; and
  • letters written by farmers' wives describing their lives and work, in response to the Cornell Reading Courses, together with other information on extension and outreach.

Additionally, thousands of photographs of students and faculty, buildings and scenes portray the College from its founding through the present. Fourteen hundred selected photographs are available online: NYS College of Human Ecology - Historical Photographs.

For information about the strengths and holdings of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, contact:
Eileen Keating, College of Human Ecology Archivist, (607) 255-3530, eek2@cornell.edu
Evan Earle, University Archivist, (607) 255-3530, efe4@cornell.edu
Elaine Engst, University Archivist Emerita (607) 255-3530, ee11@cornell.edu