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

Continue reading “Celebrating the Smith-Lever Act (& Cooperative Extension!), Part II”

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

In just about two weeks (May 8, 2014), we’ll celebrate the 100 Anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act. Passed in 1914, the act created a system of cooperative extension organizations. Usually extension agencies were associated with land-grant university, like Virginia Tech (or Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute, as we were back in 1914). The law stated that:

Cooperative agricultural extension work shall consist of the development of practical applications of research knowledge and giving of instruction and practical demonstrations of existing or improved practices or technologies in agriculture, uses of solar energy with respect to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy and subjects relating thereto to persons not attending or resident in said colleges in the several communities, and imparting information on said subjects through demonstrations, publications, and otherwise and for the necessary printing and distribution of information in connection with the foregoing; (U.S. Code, Title 7 ,Chapter 13, Subchapter IV, § 342- Cooperative agricultural extension work)

The practical work of cooperative extension agents involved educating the rural and urban public about agriculture, farming and 4-H; home economics; economic development; government and public policy; leadership; and just about any subject that might be related! Here in Virginia, extension work had already begun back in 1906, but the passage of the Smith-Lever Act led to a change of location for the base of operations, from Burkesville to Blacksburg.

Continue reading “Celebrating the Smith-Lever Act (& Cooperative Extension!), Part I”

Ann Hertzler’s Work: A Slide Show

Over the course of the last 14 years, Ann Hertzler made many contributions to Special Collections, including books for her endowed collection of children’s cookbook and nutrition literature publications, her professional papers from her tenure at Virginia Tech and the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a variety of other cookbooks. Continuing on last week’s post, I thought I would put together a slide show of materials donated or created by Ann (and, in some cases, both).

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The 1930s Kitchen

We’re a little late posting this week, but better late than never! I (archivist/blogger Kira, that is) am at work on the next three weeks of posts, since I found a few holiday items that needed sharing. But I’m back on track with a great 1936 publication from the New York State College of Home Economics at Cornell University Extension Division: The Development of the Successful Kitchen by Ella M. Cushman.

The publication contains plenty more photographs of kitchen arrangements and planning, though the majority of it is text. That shouldn’t surprise us, given that is in an extension publication aimed at education and improvement. In addition to organization, the pamphlet also covers topics like counter and wall finishes, different options for flooring and lighting, and creating multipurpose spaces for things like laundry and business. Although looking at this today, we may raise questions of timeliness of some items or obsolete appliances, the general theme of kitchen efficiency and ease-of-use is timeless.

You can view the pamphlet in its entirety, as well as subsequent editions, on the Core Historical Literature of Agriculture website at Cornell.

Autumn and Apples: A Perfect Paring*

*Pun intended, of course!

Apples are appearing in abundance at the Blacksburg Farmers’ Market. I indulged in my first peck yesterday, since my applesauce supply has dwindled to a single batch in the freezer. (As soon as my favorite Arkansas Blacks are available, they’ll be at least one more peck in my future.) With autumn here in SW Virginia at last, I can’t be the only one with an eye for apples and apple recipes, either.

One kind of publication that you’ll find throughout our book stacks and culinary manuscript collections is the extension bulletin. Virginia Tech is an agricultural school and we have LOTS of extension publications, but Special Collections holdings aren’t limited to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. For example, this week’s feature comes from the Cooperative Extension Service, New York State College of Home Economics at Cornell University.

Although the majority of the recipes in this short pamphlet are desserts, there are a couple of other traditional apple dishes: red cabbage and, of course, pork chops. There are classics like apple pie, apple butter, waldorf salad, and apple dumplings. Then a few classic recipes adapted for apples: scalloped apples, apple gingerbread, and apple pancakes. In fact, there are only three recipes in the pamphlet not including apples: dressings for apple salads! Hardly surprising  (or inappropriate) with a title like Favorite Apple Recipes.

You can find the full version of the 1957 edition of Favorite Apple Recipes online through Cornell University’s Core Historical Literature of Agriculture collection. If you’re interested in Virginia Cooperative Extension publications, you can find the most recent ones on their website. You can find some newer and older publications through the university’s institutional repository, VTechWorks. Or you can drop on by and see us. We’re here, Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm, as always.

And until next week, happy appling!