Nesbitt College of Design Arts records
Held at: Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections [Contact Us]W. W. Hagerty Library, 3300 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Nesbitt College of Design Arts has also been known as the Department of Domestic Economy (1891-1894), Departments of Domestic Science and Arts (1895-1914), School of Domestic Science and Arts (1914-1922), School/College of Home Economics (1922-1974), Nesbitt College of Design, Nutrition, Human Behavior, and Home Economics (1974-1985), Nesbitt College of Design Arts (1985-1998), College of Design Arts (1998-2005), and eventually, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design (2005-present). The college originated with courses of study specifically intended for the education of women, such as cookery and dressmaking and expanded to include courses in domestic science, home economics, dietetics, and child care. Through the years, the college further broadened its coverage to offer courses in many areas of design, applied arts, architecture and the performing arts.
The collection consists of records of Nesbitt College of Design Arts and its predecessor departments from 1894-1993. The collection is divided into fourteen series: Accreditation and Teacher Certification, Administration, Associate Dean Lois Pearson, Dean Marjorie Rankin, Domestic Science Archive, Early Childhood Learning Center, Events, Fundraising, Histories, Honors Day, Kappa Omicron Nu Honors Society, Promotional Materials, Publications and Recipes. All are arranged alphabetically unless noted.
Accreditation and Teacher Certification contains self-studies and reports submitted by the college for review by the Home Economics Association of America (AHEA), the Middles States Association, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the Pennsylvania Board of Education, as well as evaluations and responses.
The series Administration contains administrative files of the college, including the subseries Annual Reports (1924-1977), lists of graduates and theses, faculty meeting minutes and faculty/staff organizational charts.
Two of the series are comprised of records of Deans of the College. Associate Dean Lois Pearson’s series contains items compiled by the Associate Dean of the Nesbitt College including biographical information on University presidents, histories and mission statements of the college, and important papers in the fields of Home Economics and Design. Other files in the series were created by Pearson, including papers and projects that Associate Dean Pearson wrote and contributed to. The series of Dean Marjorie Rankin’s records also includes items both collected by and created by Dean Rankin, whose involvement with the college began in 1946 as a faculty member and lasted until 1984, when she retired from the college as dean. These include papers, reports, and correspondence.
The series, Domestic Science Archive, contains correspondence by Dean Stratton about several musical instruments donated to the Institute by A.J. Drexel. The series also contains clippings and papers written about the school's tapestry collection. There are two photographs of the Drexel campus as well, including one of Nesbitt Hall.
The Early Childhood Learning Center series includes brochures, histories, and information on the ECLC, which was a nursery school and childcare center from 1930-1988. The series is arranged alphabetically. There is also a chronologically arranged subseries, Photographs, which includes scrapbooks and photos of the ECLC and its participants.
The series Events contains information, invitations, and correspondence on major events sponsored by the college. This series also contains files that were compiled by faculty and staff of the college regarding university-wide events.
The series Fundraising similarly contains information, correspondence, and reports on campaigns run by the college as well as on some university-wide campaigns.
Histories contains papers on the evolution of the college as well as collected materials for such papers. Some files, like History of the Drexel Institute, contain materials collected by the college for submission to papers on the University's history.
Promotional Materials includes brochures, fact sheets and mass mailings used to market the College of Home Economics and Nesbitt College of Design Arts.
The series Publications includes journals and newsletters published by Nesbitt College for its students and alumni, such as Update, as well as some publications meant for those not affiliated with the University, such as TIES.
The series Recipes contains cookery cards produced by the College of Home Economics for its students, as well as notebooks of students and faculty from as early as 1897. Many of these items belonged to Ellen Morris, student and eventual faculty member in the Domestic Arts program. The series also contains several cookbooks, some of which were published by the Drexel Institute. This series is arranged by class/course, with cookbooks following alphabetically.
- Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Holly Frisbee
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
Because the collection may contain confidential information, portions are currently restricted pending review by the archivist. See the university archives' policy on access to records for further information.