Nora B. Cummins papers, 1936-1945

Overview of the Collection

Cummins, Nora B.
Nora B. Cummins papers
1936-1945 (inclusive)
.25 linear feet
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0064cummins (collection)
The collection contains the papers of Nora B. Cummins and document her service on two committees during World War II. Cummins served on a sub-committee for the Whatcom County Advisory Committee and she was the chairman of the Consumer Interest Committee in Bellingham. Cummins is a former professor of Western Washington University.
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
Telephone: (360) 650-7534
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Nora B. Cummins was born July 18, 1882. She attended the University of Minnesota where she received her B.A. She then attended Columbia University where she earned her M.A. Cummins also received special training at the South Dakota Normal and Industrial School. Cummins began her career at the Washington State Normal School at Bellingham (which would later become Western Washington University) in the fall of 1915 as a supervisor of student teachers. She chaired the Social Studies department on several occasions, acted as dean in 1938, and during World War II was Acting Registrar. When she retired in 1951, she was a Professor of Political Science. The records in the collection are from her work on two committees spanning from 1936 to 1946. One was the Whatcom County Advisory Committee on Social Security. This committee was created in response to the passage of the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935 and it played an advisory role concerning public relief. Cummins served on one of the sub-committees. Cummins also served as chairman on the Consumer Interest Committee. It was organized on January 26, 1942 as the Bellingham Consumer Representative's Council and worked with the Office of Price Administration (OPA) in Washington D.C. The Council became the Consumer Interest Committee in May of 1943 and functioned under the Civilian Defense Council. It worked to educate local consumers on price fixing and rationing during WWII. Nora Cummins died in Santa Rosa, California May 15 1974.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Nora B. Cummins papers, spanning the years 1936 to 1946, document her participation in two committees in Bellingham, Washington. Her records from the Whatcom County Advisory Committee on Social Security document the committee's role in studying public assistance and the recommendations it made to the Council Commissioners in matters regarding public relief. The records of this committee contain correspondence and administrative material such as reports and minutes from meetings. The collection also contains newspaper clippings that Cummins compiled regarding the committee's work and Social Security laws. The records from the Consumer Interest Committee documents Cummins' role in assisting consumers in understanding the price fixing system and rationing. The records also show how the committee worked to educate consumers on how to be economical buyers during WWII in order to conserve products and control inflation. The collection contains correspondence, administrative records, directives from the OPA, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings related to the activities of the Council as well as information related to the OPA.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Nora B. Cummins papers, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Western Libraries Archives & Special Collections, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The Nora B. Cummins papers are organized in accordance with the following series arrangement:

  • Series I: Whatcom County Advisory Committee on Social Security, 1936-1940
  • Series II: Consumer Interest Committee, 1941-1946

Acquisition Information

Donated by the Whatcom Museum of History and Art

Processing Note

About Harmful Language and Content

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Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:  Whatcom County Advisory Committee on Social Security ,  1936-1940Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Administrative Records and Correspondence
June 1936-June 1938
Administrative Records and Correspondence
July 1938-May 1939
1938-1940; undated

Series II:  Consumer Interest Committee, 1941-1946Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Administrative Records and Correspondence
1942-1946; undated
Chairman’s Correspondence and Volunteer Timesheets,
1941-1946; undated
Office of Price Administration (OPA) Directives
1942-1943; undated
Pamphlets and Publications,
1941-1946; undated
1942-1946; undated

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Consumer education -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Price regulation -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Rationing -- Washington (State) -- Bellingham -- History -- Sources.
  • Social Security -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.
  • World War, 1939-1945 -- Economic aspects -- Washington (State) -- Whatcom County -- History -- Sources.

Personal Names

  • Cummins, Nora B., -- 1882-1974 -- Archives. (creator)

Corporate Names

  • Whatcom County Advisory Committee.
  • Consumer Interest Committee (Bellingham, Wash.)
  • United States. -- Office of Price Administration.
  • United States. -- Social Security Act.