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Margaret Fedde, Home Economics Papers

Title: Margaret Fedde, Home Economics Papers

Creator: Fedde, Margaret, 1885-1978

Dates: 1892-1978

Quantity: 2 boxes (1 linear foot)

Collection Number: RG 09-01-10

Language: English, German

Restrictions: None

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Historical Records Statement: Please see our statement on historical records and materials.

Preferred Citation: Margaret Fedde, Home Economics Papers (RG 09-01-10). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

Alternative Format: None


Margaret Sophie Fedde was born in Irvington, Nebraska, on October 15, 1883 to Margaretha Helena (Glandt) and Christian Fedde. She received her bachelor's degree in home economics from the University of Nebraska (UN) in 1914 and a master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University in 1922. After teaching high school in Benson, Nebraska, from 1903-1914, Fedde joined the faculty of the UN Department of Home Economics as an instructor (1914-1917) and later head of the Food and Nutrition Division (1917-1919). In 1919, she became chair of the Department of Home Economics and retired in 1950. During her 31 years of Home Economics chair, the department grew from 50 to 600 students, adopted the conducting home economics research, and became one of the first universities to sponsor housing for home economics students. There were the Alice Loomis and Love Memorial Cooperative residence halls.

After retiring from UN in 1950, Fedde traveled to Wiesbaden and Berlin, Germany, to work as a U.S. State Department consultant to help rural families with post-war rehabilitation. She helped plan low cost meals that met dietary standards, opened centers to teach girls, and improved school lunch programs. After leaving Germany, Fedde taught and developed Home Economics curriculum at the Women’s College in Beirut, Lebanon (1952), American College for Girls in Cairo, Egypt (1953), and Kobe College in Japan (1954). In 1955, the U.S. State Department appointed her to act as a coordinator of home economic programs between the United States and India. She worked with the University of Tennessee India Program to develop an exchange program for Indian teachers to study home economics, teaching, and extension in the United States.

In 1957, the University of Nebraska dedicated the Margaret Fedde Residence Hall on East Campus in her honor. She participated in many organizations including the UN Mortar Board, American Association of University Women, League of Women Voters, Y.W.C.A, American and Nebraska Home Economic Associations, Chairman of the Committee of the National Youth Administration, and various other organizations. She died October 5, 1978 at age 94 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Scope and Content:

The Fedde Papers include correspondence, biographical materials, newspaper articles, personal memorabilia, photographs, and materials related to the history and 50th anniversary of the University of Nebraska Home Economics Department.


Fedde, Margaret, 1885-1978

Home economics extension work

Home economics--Germany

Home economics--India

Home economics--20th century

University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus). Department of Family Economics and Management

University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus). College of Home Economics


Series Description: Series 1: Correspondence, 1903-1970

This series consist of Margaret and Christian Fedde’s correspondence relating to family life and the history of home economics. Significant correspondents include Rosa Bouton, Mary Ellen Brown, and others from the UN Department of Home Economics.

Series 2: University of Nebraska Home Economics, 1910-1964

This series contains materials related to the history and 50th anniversary of the University of Nebraska Home Economic Department, publications on the history of the field of Home Economics, and Margaret Fedde’s publication, “A Study of Farm Families and Their Standards of Living in Selected Districts of Nebraska, 1931-1933.”

Series 3: Personal materials, 1892-1978

This series includes Margaret Fedde biographical materials and news articles, an autograph book, commencement programs, Margaret Fedde Hall dedication program, certificates, Red Cross Christmas seals, and other collected materials.

Series 4: Photographs, 1929-1968, undated

This series includes portraits of Margaret Fedde, UN Department of Home Economics events, a trip to Meeker Park, Colorado, and unidentified family portraits.

Container List: Series 1: CorrespondenceBox 1. Folder 1. Correspondence, 1903, 1907, 1926 Box 1. Folder 2. Correspondence, 1929, July 1-15 Box 1. Folder 3. Correspondence, 1929, July 16-31 Box 1. Folder 4. Correspondence, 1929, Aug. Box 1. Folder 5. Correspondence, 1929-1930 Box 1. Folder 6. Correspondence, 1938-1970 Box 1. Folder 7. Correspondence, undated Box 1. Folder 8. Correspondence, Christian Fedde (father), 1912 Series 2: University of Nebraska Home EconomicsBox 1. Folder 9. Bulletin, “Course in Cookery for Nebraska Girls Domestic Science Clubs,” Department of Public Instruction, State of Nebraska, 1910, Jan. Box 1. Folder 10. Articles, bulletins, home economics history, 1938-1968 Box 1. Folder 11. “Persons with PhD or EdD Degrees Engaged in the Field of Home Economics,” 1948 Box 1. Folder 12. Speeches, 50th Anniversary of the University of Nebraska Home Economics Department, Margaret Fedde, Grace Henderson, 1949, Apr. 8-9 Box 1. Folder 13. Bulletin, “A Study of Farm Families and Their Standards of Living in Selected Districts of Nebraska, 1931-1933,” University of Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station Research Bulletin 89, 1935, July Box 1. Folder 14. Graduates list, Department of Home Economics (1907-1950), 1950 Box 1. Folder 15. Newspaper articles, Department of Home Economics, 1951-1970 Box 1. Folder 16. Margaret Fedde two week home economics workshop, College of Plattsburg, New York, 1960 Box 1. Folder 17. Booklet, “A Silver Milestone,” Nebraska Council of Home Economics Clubs history, 1961 Box 2. Folder 1. 1914 Home Economics class reunion, 1964, June 13 Box 2. Folder 2. Notes, History of the Home Economics Department, undated Series 3: Personal materialsBox 2. Folder 3. Church sacrament certificate (German), 1892, Jan. 18 (see oversized box 34) Box 2. Folder 4. Douglas County, Nebraska teaching certificate, 1898, May 27 (see oversized box 34) Box 2. Folder 5. Program, invitation, Omaha High School commencement, 1902, June 13 Box 2. Folder 6. Autograph book, 1903 Box 2. Folder 6. Account book, 1912-1913 Box 2. Folder 7. Program, invitation, Nebraska State Normal School commencement week, 1907, May 19-23 Box 2. Folder 8. Biographies, newspaper articles, on Margaret Fedde, 1908-1978 Box 2. Folder 9. Funeral book, Margaretha Fedde (mother) “In Memoriam,” 1923, Nov. 13 Box 2. Folder 10. Dedication program, Margaret Fedde Hall, 1957, Nov. 3 Box 2. Folder 11. Volunteer certificate, Lancaster County Republican Victory, 1960 Box 2. Folder 11. Obituary, Clarence Elliott (Fedde physician), 1962 Box 2. Folder 11. Election card, Cedric Fedde for County Auditor, undated Box 2. Folder 12. Calendar, 1970 Box 2. Folder 13. Handkerchief with embroidered flowers, undated Box 2. Folder 14. Red Cross Christmas seals, undated Series 4: PhotographsBox 2. Folder 15. Margaret Fedde portraits 1900s-1950, undated Box 2. Folder 16. Postcards, travel and unidentified group shots, 1929, undated Box 2. Folder 17. Home economics 50th anniversary, Miss Dennis (home management house), Cairo Family, 1951, 1964, 1968, undated Box 2. Folder 18. Round-up luncheon (M. Fedde, E. Junge, W. Van Brunt), 1966, June 4 Box 2. Folder 19. Meeker Park, Colorado, undated Box 2. Folder 20. Unidentified portraits, 1930, undated Box 2. Folder 21. Unidentified portraits, undated
Related Material and Resources: Information for Margaret Fedde’s biography was taken from collected biographies and newspaper articles from “Margaret Fedde biographies and newspaper articles, 1908-1978” in box 2, folder 8.

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