The 100 Years of the International Federation for Home Economics Manuscript and Associated Papers span the years 1860-2008. The collection is 23.25 linear feet and occupies seventeen cartons. The collection was donated to Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library in August, 2009 by Nancy Leidenfrost, Chair of the International Federation for Home Economics History Committee. Materials are in good condition. There are no restrictions on use of materials. The collection was partially arranged and described in 2009 and 2010 by Mark Levengood, a graduate student in history at the University of Maryland. Steps performed in partial arrangement and description included surveying materials, writing a box list, and describing collection materials. This basic finding aid document provides introductory and organizational history, collection scope, and a box list.
Founded in 1908, the International Federation for Home Economics is an organization working for the study, growth, and application of the discipline of home economics. As defined by the organization, the field of home economics is an academic discipline, a policy arena, and way of life to be followed within the home. Professional members of the organization work to improve the lives of families, households, and communities by “developing human growth potential and [meeting] human necessities or basic needs.” Both independently and as an international United Nations Non-Governmental Organization, the International Federation for Home Economics works on various issues, such as raising living standards, women’s issues, the family, and the role of home economics in economic development. The organization also provides information and professional support to institutions and individuals working in the home economics field.
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of records contributed by Nancy B. Leidenfrost from her years of professional volunteer leadership to the International Federation for Home Economics. She served in various capacities from 1984 to 2004 during the administration of six International Federation for Home Economics Presidents: Lilha Lee (2004-2008), Gertraud Pichler (2000-2004), Nancy Granovsky (1996-2000), Maria Thiele-Wittig (1992-1996), Margaret Dalloway (1988-1992), Margaret Fitch (1984-1988).
Records include documents outlining the organization’s focus and work, including reports from major congresses and conferences, such as those on the International Year of the Family and the Commission on the Status of Women.
The majority of the records consist of documents and references compiled during Leidenfrost’s work as Chair of the International Federation for Home Economics History Committee’s commemoration of the one-hundred year anniversary of the organization, celebrated in 2008. Publications produced by the committee for the anniversary include: the video, “100 Years of the International Federation for Home Economics 1908-2008”; “Reflections of Past International Federation for Home Economics Presidents.” Members of the History Committee were Nancy B. Leidenfrost, Chair (United States); Margaret Arcus (Canada); Shirley Baugher (United States); Beverly Card (United States); Leena Kirjavainen (Finland); Bussiswe Nkosi (South Africa); Valentina Okaru (Nigeria); Genevieve A. Schroeder (United States); and Maria Thiele-Wittig (Germany). As part of its work on these publications, the committee compiled records and references from various countries on the history of the organization. Among these documents are interviews and correspondence from past leadership, official publications, international conference and congress reports, country and regional reports, committee work, photographs, and audio and video records. The collection also includes documents compiled during Leidenfrost’s service on other committees, such as the International Federation for Home Economics Development Fund.