You have to know the past to understand the present.

Carl Sagan

College of Human Ecology Graduate Summer Archival Research Fellowship

This current summer fellowship is open to graduate students within the College of Human Ecology (CHE). Fellowship recipients receive an award of $7,500 for on-site scholarly research employing the unique resources available from the College and the Cornell University Library. One fellowship will be awarded each year.

The College of Human Ecology’s mission of improving human lives can be traced back to the early 1900s and the interdisciplinary teaching and research done by faculty and students in what was then the New York State College of Home Economics. This fellowship provides the opportunity to do research in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and Mann Library in order to investigate contemporary societal issues through the lens of the past. Relevant historical subject areas may include, but are not limited to: the role of women in the family and society, the history of women in higher education, the history of food, nutrition, housing, consumer economics, the family, child development, psychology, design, clothing and textiles among other key topics in American social history.

At the conclusion of the residency, the fellowship recipient is invited to schedule a public presentation on their research for a later date. Research projects should be intended for publication. 

Apply Now

By March 15, 2024

Submit a notice of interest via email to indicating: your name, department, and topic of interest.

By April 8, 2024

Applications are due. See instructions, application document template, and resources below.

Application instructions, template, and resources

Please follow the instructions for the template to prepare your application to the College of Human Ecology Graduate Summer Archival Fellowship. Note: Please submit a notice of interest via email to by March 15, 2024, indicating: your name, department, and topic of interest. Applications are due by April 8, 2024. See instructions, application document template, and resources below.

Please save your application document as “last name first initial_2024_FellowApp”. E.g., “ChengA_2024_FellowApp”

Email your final application document and your vita to: Eileen Keating .

Please send this Qualtrics Recommendation Questionnaire to the CHE faculty member who you have asked to recommend you for this fellowship: .

Note: applications are due: April 8, 2024.


Project Title:





Reference: Please provide the name and email address of the CHE faculty member who you have asked to complete the Recommendation Questionnaire.

Research abstract: Please provide a 150-200 word research abstract describing the work you propose to complete with this funding. Be sure to indicate your key research question(s), the methods you will use to answer those question, and the outlets through which you will disseminate your work (e.g., conferences, journals, part of thesis/ dissertation).


Please provide a 3-5 page research proposal. Be sure to include the following:

  • Research: Describe the research topic, state your specific research question or questions within this topic to investigate. Discuss why this is an important area of inquiry. (~2-3 pages)
  • Archives: what published and manuscript materials will be used from Cornell’s rare and distinctive collections. See “Resources” below. (.5-1 page)
  • Background: what experience has prepared you for this project (.5-1 page)
  • How will this fellowship advance your scholarship or support your thesis or dissertation work. (.5-1 page)

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC):

This major repository, located in the Carl A. Kroch Library, contains over 500,000 printed volumes, more than 80 million manuscripts, and another million photographs, paintings, prints, and other visual media 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, correspondence and publications tracing the creation and history of the College, including faculty papers, motion picture film, oral histories and audio and video tapes;
  • 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 various student 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.

Thousands of photographs of students, 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 .

The history of the college can be found in the College of Human Ecology Centennial Exhibition: From Domesticity to Modernity: What Was Home Economics?

A list of some archival collections pertaining to the field of home economics and human ecology can be found here:

For information about the strengths and holdings of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, contact:

Eileen Keating, College of Human Ecology archivist,

Mann Library:

Mann Library has a collection over 700,000 volumes, including more than 6,500 journal subscriptions.  Its holdings are especially strong in the areas of nutrition, family studies, and early childhood education. Other areas important to home economics study throughout the century are also well represented.  The library is the host for HEARTH (Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History), a national initiative to preserve the core historical literature of home economics.  

For information about Mann Library's holdings, contact Michael Cook, Head of Collection Development,

Note: The former Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics existed from 1992-2019, offering a summer or sabbatical residency to use the unique resources available from the College of Human Ecology and the Cornell University Library system in pursuit of scholarly research in the history of Home Economics and its impact on American society. Historical subject areas from this fellowship inform the investigation of contemporary societal issues. Some of the presentations given by recipients of the Fellowship are available on eCommons and​ on Mann Library YouTube channels. Other presentations have been digitized and are available in the University Archives.