A Little About Janet Lowe Cameron

In the last week or so, we’ve had several students here to ask about and work with the collection. The Janet Lowe Cameron Scholarships have been given out for the year and students are starting/continuing their research. Not surprisingly, this has got me thinking about Janet Cameron and her publications. Here in Special Collections, we have a small manuscript collection containing information about her and copies of many of her publications. This week, I’ve scanned a few front pages to share.


If you’d like to know more about Janet Cameron, you can read some in the finding aid for her collection in Special Collections. You may also want to visit us, since there’s more information in the collection itself, some of which is online here (and undoubtedly we could find more in our University history materials, too!). And there’s an article in the 2001 Culinary Thymes about her. I’m also planning to write a post or two about her in the future. 🙂

I know some of our readers may have known Janet Cameron. If you’d like to share something about her, please do so in the comments!

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”