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RAMI Domestic Science Department records

 Collection — Box: 1-18 folders
Identifier: RITArc-0381

Scope and Contents

The Domestic Science Department records contain a wide variety of records relating to the formation, structure and history of the department. A large portion of the collection consists of publications, course guides, enrollment and commencement records, information about alumni and faculty and a variety of original and copied clippings. There are also detailed reports of the history of the department by Miss Mary Bliss, who served as superintendent from 1897-1912 and Alice Lee, a corresponding secretary. The collection also consists of administrative documents including meeting notes, lists of board members and a minute book of the Sub-Committee on Domestic Science from 1893-1895. Included as well is a miscellaneous file which contains blue prints for kitchens and lunchrooms at the downtown campus, student surveys and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1893-1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1893 - 1945


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) can trace its origins to the founding of the Rochester Athenaeum in 1829. After joining with several different Rochester institutions during the 19th century, the Athenaeum finally merged with the Mechanics Institute (founded in 1885) in 1891 to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI). Henry Lomb, President of the Board and one of the founders of the Institute, had considered offering coursework to women from the time of the founding. In 1892, five women were appointed to a committee, headed by Mrs. Betsy Andrews (wife of Board member Ezra Andrews) to consider the feasibility of adding cooking instruction to RAMI's offerings. The first domestic science class was held on March 2, 1893; within months, the Department of Domestic Science and Art formally opened with courses in cooking, sewing, emergencies, hygiene, and home nursing. By 1899, the department had grown from 367 to 1,310 students with additional courses in millinery, laundry work, elementary chemistry, physiology, teaching methods, dressmaking, and home furnishing.

The department has continued to evolve throughout the Institute's history. The department also offered teacher training, educating many women to teach home economics in the schools. The normal program was very popular in the early decades of the 20th century. The name was changed to Home Economics in 1920 and renamed the Food Administration program in 1942, reflecting the addition of classes in institutional cooking and dietetics. In 1960, the school was part of the newly formed College of Business, and called the School of Food Administration. In 1974, it became the Department of Food Administration, Hotel, and Tourist Industries Management and later the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The department is now part of the College of Applied Science and Technology. In 2010 the school merged with the Department of Service Systems to become the School of International Hospitality and Service Innovation,


1.3 Linear Feet (1 document box)




The collection includes various documents, clippings, publications, financial records, enrollment records and board meeting information related to the Domestic Science Department at RIT. The collection spans from 1893-1989.


This collection is organized by topic and then chronologically within each folder. Materials are contained within 17 folders.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 173

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

RAMI Domestic Science Department records

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Emily Kolenberg in July 2012.

RAMI Domestic Science Department records
RIT Archives
Emily Kolenberg
09 July 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA