American Women's History: A Research Guide
Homemaking & Home Economics
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Huls, Mary Ellen. "Homemaking and Home Economics Education." In United States Documents on Women, 1800-1990: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Vol. 1. Social Issues. Bibliographies and Indexes in Women's Studies, no. 17. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Ogden, Annegret S. "Bibliographical Essay." In The Great American Housewife: From Helpmate to Wage Earner, 1776-1986. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986.

Weisbard, Phyllis Holman. Home Economics - Domestic Science [online]. In The History of Women and Science, Health, and Technology: A Bibliographic Guide to the Professions and the Disciplines. Madison: University of Wisconsin System Women's Studies Librarian, 1993 [cited 10 July 2000]. Available from:

Historical Overviews

Matthews, Glenna. "Just a Housewife": The Rise and Fall of Domesticity in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

Ogden, Annegret S. The Great American Housewife: From Helpmate to Wage Earner, 1776-1986. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon, 1982.

Primary Sources: Archives & Manuscript Collections

Catanese, Lynn Ann. Women's History: A Guide to Sources at Hagley Museum and Library. Greenwood Press, 1997.
See the index for coverage of "Household appliances," "Household furnishings," "Household management," and "Housework."

Primary Sources: Digital Collections

Evelyn Birkley Digital Collection [online]. Iowa City: University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, 2001 [cited 28 November 2004]. Available from:
This collection documents Birkby's career as a newspaper columnist and radio personality. It includes promotional photographs from Birkby's career at KMA radio in Shenandoah, Iowa, audio excerpts from her radio program, and newspaper clippings from her Shenandoah's Evening Sentinel column, "Up a country lane." Cooking, raising children, family life, community involvement are among the topics covered.

From Domesticity to Modernity: What Was Home Economics? [online]. Ithaca, NY: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library, 2001 [cited 15 April 2002]. Available from:
The site includes two video interviews with two students who graduated from Cornell's home economics program in the 1920s.

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, and History [online]. Ithaca, N.Y: Mann Library, Cornell University, c2003- [cited 14 November 2003]. Available from: A core collection of books and journals in home economics and related disciplines that were published between 1850 and 1950.

Home Economics to Human Ecology: A Centennial History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison [online]. Madison: University of Wisconsin Libraries, [2003?]. Available from:
The site includes approximately 200 photographs of administrators, buildings & classrooms, textiles, home management activities, and extracurricular activities.

The Making of a Homemaker [online]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Libraries, 2003 [cited 5 February 2004]. Available from:
This exhibit includes over 40 images from nineteenth century guidebooks.

NYS College of Human Ecology - Historical Photographs [online]. Ithaca: Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library, Cornell University, n.d. Available from:
The 1419 photographs in this collection are organized into eight themes (e.g., "Resident Training," "Extension and Outreach").

Oral History Digital Collections [online]. Youngstown, OH: William F. Maag Jr. Library, Youngstown State University, updated March 2002 [cited 25 June 2002]. Available from:
See in particular the entries for "Household Appliances."

Virginia Agricultural Extension Service [online]. In Imagebase. Blacksburg: University Libraries, Virginia Tech, [cited 16 November 2002]. Available from:
Most of the 5000 photographs in this collection depict Extension Service activities during the 1950s. See in particular the "Food and Nutrition" and "Home Arts, Agriculture Economics, and Agronomy" Sub Folios.

Visual Resources Database [online]. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, [1998- ]. Available from:
Offers access to over 75,000 digital images of photographs, posters, artwork, and fine art photographs. A keyword search for homemaking produces over 200 records.

Primary Sources: Selected Books

Arnold, Eleanor, ed. Memories of Hoosier Homemakers. 6 vols. [West Lafayette?]: Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, 1983-1990.

Talking About Women's History

Carter, Constance. The History of Household Technology with Constance Carter [online]. Library of Congress, 18 February 2005 [cited 21 March 2005]. Available from:

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Library
Murfreesboro, TN 37132