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Indiana Extension Homemakers Association records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 196

Scope and Contents

The Indiana Extension Homemakers Association records (1953-2015; 1.2 cubic feet) documents the history and activities of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, an educational and social group for homemakers in Indiana.  The collection is primarily composed of materials from the Miami County branch of the Association and materials relating to the statewide Homemakers chorus.  Unfortunately, there is not much material at this time relating to other counties, but the activities of the Miami County homemakers seem to representative of clubs throughout the state.  The collection would be useful to researchers interested in the extension activities of Purdue University, women’s history and material culture, women’s social groups, farm/rural life, and shifts in the domestic sphere during the twentieth century.  Types of materials include: papers, publications, artifacts, scrapbooks, etc.  The records are organized into two series.


  • 1953-2015
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/04/2014


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

All copy rights belong to Purdue University per deed of gift.

Historical Information

The Indiana Extension Homemakers Association began in 1913 as a social and educational organization for women.  Before changing to their current name in the 1960s, the group(s) were also referred to as Home Economics clubs and Home Demonstration clubs, due to the focus on demonstration educational work to educate women about matters relating to the farm and home.  In these efforts, the home was recognized as a contributing factor to the relative success of farms, and the work of homemakers was recognized as critical to ensuring said successes.  Many of the lessons taught were related to food preservation, gardening, sewing, and home maintenance. Although the clubs were not restricted to rural membership, the affiliation of the homemakers extension with farms and the farm extension services resulted in a membership that was primarily rural.  The IEHA has also been instrumental in the growth and success of 4H programs throughout the state.  Early leaders and educators in the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association include notable women from Purdue University like Lella Gaddis, Virginia Claypool Meredith, and Eva Goble.  Although the meetings and mission of the Extension Homemakers Association was always officially to educate women and make home processes more efficient and productive, the groups also served as a social outlet for women who typically did not spend much time outside of the home. More closely related to this social aspect of the Homemakers Association was the Extension Homemakers Chorus (1934-1974), organized and conducted by Albert Stewart.  Individual chapters or counties would practice songs from the song of the month books distributed by Stewart before occasionally meeting as a large group to rehearse and perform.  The chorus performed throughout the state, as well as some more notable national and international performances. Source(s): MSP 133, Indiana Extension Homemakers records Arnold, Eleanor, editor; Memories of Hoosier Homemakers; Indiana Extension Homemakers Association.

Note written by Virginia Pleasant


1.266 Cubic Feet (One flat box, two letter-size full-width manuscript boxes, and one letter-size half-width manuscript box)

Language of Materials



The collection includes papers, publications, artifacts, and a scrapbook, which document the history and activities of the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association, an educational and social group for homemakers in Indiana.

Arrangement Note

1.  Extension Homemakers, 1953-2015 (0.9 cubic feet).  This series contains yearbooks with information on the membership and activities of the Extension homemakers, a scrapbook, historical information on the Miami County homemakers, and pins distributed and worn by the Indiana Extension Homemakers Association.  Materials in the series are arranged chronologically and by type. 2.  Extension Homemakers Chorus, 1957-1974 (0.3 cubic feet).  This series contains information regarding the Extension Homemakers Chorus that was directed by Albert Stewart and performed both locally and nationally.  The majority of the series is comprised of songbooks used by the women who were members of the chorus.  Materials in the series are arranged chronologically and by type.

Source of Acquisition

Barb Keyes and Jan Harlow

Method of Acquisition


Accruals and Additions

November 26, 2013 August 25, 2014

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Publications

Memories of Hoosier Homemakers, Indiana Extension Homemakers Association

Processing Information

Whenever possible, original order of the materials has been retained.  All materials have been placed in archival housing.
Indiana Extension Homemakers Association records
In Progress
Virginia Pleasant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2018-08-01 by Virginia Pleasant.

Revision Statements

  • 2024-02-08: Extents updated by William Niner.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States