Celebrating the Smith-Lever Act (& Cooperative Extension!), Part II

We’re one week closer to the anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, so I wanted to share some more Extension materials. This week, I raided Ms2012-040, State/Regional Home and Agricultural Publications. Three folders of this collection contain a range of publications from Virginia Cooperative Extension, published between the 1930s and the 1970s. You can see the folder list, complete with a bibliography of publications, online

Obviously, some of these titles are focused on food, but not all. Extension education, as I mentioned last week, covered a wide range of topics including agriculture, farming and 4-H; home economics; economic development; government and public policy; leadership; and more. This particular collection, for example, includes publications on home repair and saving money. As with some of the World War II era publications we’ve looked at before, the examples from this collection include gardening and preserving foods for victory. Food preservation is often a general extension theme. Here in Virginia, you’ll often find a focus on apples, too, since they were (and are) a staple in agriculture and cooking.  (Apples Around the Clock was issued in several editions and is only one of many pamphlets in this collection on this favorite fruit.) Some of the later publications in the collection, like Recipes Featuring Cheese, emphasize entertaining and parties, which may reflect changing needs of the population extension education was targeting. 

In the last several years, Special Collections has  received multiple donations of extension publications that reflect a variety of institutions at the national and state level. Next week, we’ll take a look at some of these and see what kinds of common themes exist in the wide world of extension education.



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