Appetite for Education: The Alba Bales House
Come to the Main Library to visit our new exhibit about cooking in the Home Economics program at the Alba Bales House. This exhibit brings together historic items from three important collections at NDSU: the NDSU Archives, the Emily P. Reynolds Historic Costume Collection, and the Libraries’ state and federal documents collection.
For 60 years, students in the home economics program spent four to five weeks living in the Alba Bales House. The Practice House, as it was originally known, was built from 1922-1923 and was ready for its first residents in the fall of 1923. It was renamed the Home Management House in 1936 to better reflect its purpose, and finally renamed the Alba Bales House in 1954, in honor of Dean Alba Bales.
Alba Bales was the first female academic dean at North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC). She was born in Lewis, Iowa in 1879, attended Oberlin College, and received her bachelors and master’s degrees from Columbia University. From 1920 to 1926, she served first as head, and after 1926 became dean of the School of Home Economics. She retired from NDAC in 1942 and moved to Florida. She died in 1967 at the age of 88.
The exhibit showcases items used to plan, prepare, and serve meals, and photographs of students working and playing at the Alba Bales House. A beautiful woolen suit dress made by NDSU alumni Jane Nissen while she was working on her Home Economics degree is also on view. In addition, historic pamphlets, recipe books and other resources for homemakers that were produced by NDSU Extension and federal level government agencies will also be displayed.
You can also view the online exhibit here.
Join Us for a Reception!
Listen to alumni from the home economics program share their experiences and sample food made from period recipes.
When: Thursday, April 12 @ 12-1pm
Where: NDSU Main Library in the Weber Reading Room: 1201 Albrecht Blvd, Fargo, ND 58105