December 2007

News from the Archives provides readers with news concerning U.S. Women's History from archives and repositories with collections and projects of interest.  If you are affiliated with an archive or repository and would like to submit an announcement that you feel would be of interest to our readers, please contact Tanya Zanish-Belcher at

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York)

Cornell's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections has completed the cataloging of the archives of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), one of the first national organizations to represent professional women.

AAFCS was founded in 1909 as the American Home Economics Association. Its history is intimately intertwined with that of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell. Martha Van Rensselaer, a pioneer in the founding of the College of Human Ecology, was a charter member of the AAFCS and served as its president, 1914-16. Members researched and developed public education programs focusing on home economics, including food and nutrition, parenting and early childhood development, consumer science, family finances, art and interior design, and textiles and construction.

In 2004 the association designated Cornell the repository of its archives and secured funding to hire a full-time archivist, Sarah Keen, to organize and catalog the collection. Cornell was chosen partly because it already holds some 60 other collections relating to the history of the field of home economics.

The finding aid for this collection can be found on the Web at

From here on, AAFCS will continue to send its current records to Cornell, keeping the collection up to date. Guides to Cornell's other human ecology/home economics collections are available at browselists/humec.html.

Chicago Women's Liberation Union Herstory Project (CWLU)

The CWLU Herstory Project would like to announce a major redesign of its website at The website documents the history of the women's liberation movement in Chicago during the 1960-1070's. The site has new features including a blog focusing on modern feminist news and issues.

Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA)

The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), a program that provides enhanced access to archival collections and facilitates collaboration among archives, libraries, and museums in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, has completed its grant-funded programs with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), and reached a major milestone in its quest for long-term stability. The NWDA, which began in 2002 with support from the NEH and NHPRC, is now a program of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, an academic library consortium with 34 member institutions in Washington and Oregon.

The NWDA website is located at and is free to all researchers. Researchers can find information about more than 4500 archival collections located in the Northwestern United States through keyword, subject, repository, and genre searches. Of those 4500 collections, at least 600 offer significant information about women; that information is easily retrieved through a category search. The database offers researchers the ability to find detailed information about collections across institutions, at a greater level of detail than is available through any other tool. Collection information is also exposed to search engines.

As an Alliance program, NWDA will continue to pursue its goals of creating great information services through collaboration. The merger will allow the NWDA to create a robust future that will include both sustaining its current database, building a digital content program, and continuing active involvement with national-level conversations on the present and future of access to archival materials across diverse institutions.

Participating institutions have agreed to pay member fees to sustain the program beyond grant funding and continue open and free access for researchers. Member institutions are the Eastern Washington State Historical Society, Gonzaga University, Idaho State Historical Society, Seattle Museum of History & Industry, Whitman College, Montana Historical Society, University of Montana, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies at Western Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Washington State University, Lane Community College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska State Libraryıs Historical Collections, Whitworth University, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Idaho, Portland State University, the Washington State Historical Society, the Seattle Municipal Archives, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Willamette University, Western Oregon University, Portland Community College, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Central Oregon Community College, and Oregon Institute of Technology.

For more information, please contact:
Jodi Allison-Bunnell
Northwest Digital Archives Program Manager
Orbis Cascade Alliance
418 Woodford
Missoula MT 59801
v: 406.829.6528
f: 860.540.8281

Previous Issues of News from the Archives

| September 2005 | December 2005 | March 2006 | June 2006 |
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