Guide to the Research Collections

- Domestic Economy

Domestic Economy

Many of the subjects related to domestic economy have been described in other sections of this Guide. As an example, spinning and weaving have been considered as technological aspects of manufacture in chapter 57, and costume design has been considered as part of the general subject of art resources in chapter 28.

The collection relating to domestic economy, administered by the General Research and Humanities Division, is, on the whole, adequate. It consists of some 5,600 volumes. The history and bibliography of the subject are collected comprehensively.

There is a particularly interesting, although by no means complete, representation of nineteenth-century journals, including titles as diverse as Economist and General Adviser (1824-25) and Sanktpeterburgskoye yezhenedel'noye sochineniye, kasayushcheyesya do razmnozheniya domostroitel'stva ("St. Petersburg Weekly Publication Re the Increase of Housebuilding"; May-October 1778). Some 7 periodical titles are currently received.

Books published before 1850 number just over 100, beginning with the early sixteenth-century translation by Raffaele Maffie of Xenephon's Oeconomicus. Books printed since 1851 include a first edition of Isabella Mary Beeton's The Book of Household Management (1861). There are, in addition, numerous later editions of this household classic known popularly as "Mrs. Beeton's Cookery Book." There is a good collection of the works of the American Mary Virginia Terhune, among them works on household management such as Common Sense in the Household (1871).

There is an unusual collection of international fashion periodicals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The subjects of homemaking and beauty culture include historical materials. Hair-dressing as a subject includes a good collection of journals, among them The American Hair-dresser (1904- ) and other titles, most of these French or American. The Economic and Public Affairs Division has the constitution and membership books of the Journeymen Barbers', Hair-dressers' and Cosmetologists' International Union of America (1892- ). Dressmaking and millinery are represented by works in the general collections. The subject of perfumery, essences, and essential oils forms another strong collection. Materials include the bibliographical check-list, the Fritzsche Library Bulletin (1957- ), and 13 other journal titles published primarily since 1945, but with long runs of American Perfumer and Essential Oil Review (1907-55) and Perfumery and Essential Oil Record (1916-54).