MamaCheshire (cheshire23) wrote in little_details,

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Resource: Everyday life in the late 1800s and early 1900s

For anyone who is working on a story set in the United States sometime between 1880 and 1930, I highly recommend Cornell's HEARTH archive as a source of background information.

HEARTH is a compilation of scanned books and journals on home economics and related topics. "Related topics" include:

- architecture, engineering and household sanitation;
- budgeting and money management;
- career planning, especially for women and girls;
- child development and education, including what we would now call "special education";
- cooking and nutrition, including recommendations for specific diseases such as diabetes and heart problems;
- dressmaking, tailoring, and recommendations for suitable wardrobes;
- etiquette for specific situations, usually focused on women who worked outside the home;
- housing adequacy as a social problem;
- marriage advice, including selection of a prospective spouse;
- old psychology and social work texts;
- personal hygiene and care of sick family members;
- etc.

I find the books in the HEARTH collection useful not only for their content but also for the writing style. It really does help with understanding the mindset of the time period.
Tags: #resources, usa: history (misc)

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