Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
- Overview of the Collection
- Content Description
- Use of the Collection
- Administrative Information
- Detailed Description of the Collection
- Names and Subjects
Voices of American homemakers oral history project, 1981-1983
- National Extension Homemakers Council
- Voices of American homemakers oral history project
- 1981-1983 (inclusive)19811983
- 2.5 linear feet
- Collection Number
- The voices of American homemakers oral history project (1981-1983) consists of interviews with 196 women throughout the United States about homemaking in the first half of the twentieth century. The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a major grant to the National Extension Homemakers Council for a three-year nationwide project to collect, process, and disseminate representative oral histories from rural homemakers throughout the country.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
- Access Restrictions
Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
In 1983, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a major grant to the National Extension Homemakers Council (NEHC) for a three-year nationwide project to collect, process, and disseminate representative oral histories from rural homemakers throughout the country. The council is a national nonprofit educational organization made up of 30,000 organized groups (or clubs) in forty-four states and two territories, with a membership of approximately 500,000. It is one of the largest women's organizations in the country with a predominantly rural and small town membership. The clubs which comprise the NEHC are the audience groups of the Home Economics Division of the Cooperative Extension Service. Typically, these clubs meet monthly or semi-monthly for educational programming in the areas of home economics and community service. The project, called "Voices of American Homemakers," combined an extensive volunteer effort with careful attention directed to the professional canons of oral history practice. Professional historians guided the effort by offering substantive perspectives on women's history and technical counsel on oral history. Under the terms of the grant, one complete set of project tapes and associated materials were to be presented to one repository in each state at no cost to the institution. The primary product of the effort was a collection of 203 oral histories. In the final edited and transcribed version there are 196 interviews by women from thirty-six states. Typically they describe homemaking, child rearing, and family management in the small towns or rural areas where they live. A seminar was held during the National Conference of Extension Homemaker's Council in 1983. It featured authorities in the fields of oral history and women's studies who presented papers based on material extracted from the tapes. Following each of the presentations, an audience of over 200 homemakers participated in discussion of the points raised in each paper. A slide/sound program was produced in 1984, using photographs and excerpts from the taped interviews. Finally, in 1985 a book was written based on material gathered from the project. Titled Voices of American Homemakers, it proved to be well received and has been reprinted. A copy of the book has been placed in the Special Collections Western Americana Department. The final dissemination of materials was completed in 1986 when the previously selected repositories in each state received the interview transcriptions. These include a subject index, cassette tapes of the interviews, and a bound volume of the paper presented at the 1983 seminar.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The Voices of American homemakers oral history project (1981-1983) consists of interviews with 196 women throughout the United States about homemaking in the first half of the twentieth century. The transcripts are housed in boxes one through five and have been arranged alphabetically by state. They were removed from the original three-ring binder format to the current box/folder arrangement, but were retained in original order. The first two folders in box one contain a master index to the collection and introductory materials which were completed and donated with the transcripts. The master index has been arranged by subject with reference to interviewee, state, and page number within each interview. In order to find a particular citation, one should locate the desired subject in the index, and note the interviewee name, state, and reference number. The name index begins on page twenty-seven, with box and folder references for interviewees. Folder thirteen in box five contains a collection of papers presented at the 1983 National Conference of Extension Homemaker's Council. The papers were compiled from extracts of the interviews.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.
Initial Citation: Voices of American homemakers oral history project, MS 0472, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.
Following Citations: MS 0472.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Arranged alphabetically by state.
Gift of the National Extension Homemakers Council in 1986.
Processed by Karin Hardy 1990.
Audio tapes were transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (A0138).
Forms part of the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Interviews--Alaska-FloridaReturn to Top
The index has been arranged by subject, with reference to interviewee, state, and page number within each interview.
Interviews--Georgia-MarylandReturn to Top
Interviews--Michigan-New MexicoReturn to Top
Interviews--North Carolina-OregonReturn to Top
Interviews--South Carolina-Wyoming and MiscellaneousReturn to Top
Compilation of papers presented at the 1983 National Conference of Extension Homemaker's Council, entitled Seminar of Humanists and Homemakers.
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Family--United States
- Home economics--United States
- Housewives--United States--Interviews
- Rural conditions
- United States--Rural conditions
Form or Genre Terms
- Oral histories