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Sensible Food and Fresh Laundry

The inventory of the archive of the Bond van Leeraressen bij het Huishoudonderwijs (Union of Female Teachers in Household Education) has been completed. The Union of Female Teachers in Household Education was established on March 25, 1900. The Union mainly played a role in organizing exams. In 1901 national examinations were organized for female teachers in cooking and nutrition and household economy. In 1906 an exam on treatment of laundry was added. The Union received an annual subsidy from the national government. In 1922 a state examination was established. The Union had a library and organized courses. The monthly magazine In and around the kitchen, later In and around home, the periodical of the household and industrial schools, contained an enclosed page that served as the newsletter of the Union.

The president of the Union in the early years was A.S. Tydeman-Verschoor and the secretary was Martine Wittop Koning, , a female teacher at the Amsterdam Huishoudschool who was known for the many cookbooks she wrote. The Union had 446 members when in November 1931 its independent existence came to an end. The Union merged in 1932 with the Association for Promoting Industry Education for Girls.

The archive contains documents from 1900-1932. It contains the minutes of board meetings from 1907-1932 and minutes of the general meetings for the entire period from 1900 to 1932. Of interest are the documents relating to examinations and examination committees. There was much deliberation on the list of demands to obtain a degree as a teacher in Cooking and nutrition and Household economy and laundry treatment.

Inventory number 156 includes documents on a committee, established in 1903 by the Union of Female Teachers in Household Education with the task of collecting data about the nature and the extent of the household education at Repetition Schools in the Netherlands. The responses from the various schools were completed on large pages glued together to present a good overview of the state of this education in 1903-1904. This list has been preserved as well as some of the answers submitted.
Inventory number 155 contains a beautiful survey of about 25 Household and Industrial and Cooking Schools that existed in 1909, with specifications on the number of students per year from 1900 to 1909. These numbers are broken down into specialized training.

The First World War was also important for the Union. In 1916 the Minister of Agriculture, Trade and Industry called on household education and thus on the Union to give information on the limited and changing daily diet during the war years. For this purpose, an Advisory Committee to the Government in respect to the People's Nutrition was established.
The documents related to this committee are found in the inventory numbers 172-184 in the archive. The minutes and correspondence of the Committee provide insight into the views at that time, but most interesting are the documents that relate to the many lectures with cooking demonstrations from 1916-1918. These were important because of the lack of potatoes, and the need to use alternatives such as rice, kidney beans, and green peas, and sometimes also barley or oats.

The inventory was developed by Steven Blom, an intern at the Institute in spring 2014, in the context of the minor Archives at the Reinwardt Academy, Faculty of Cultural Heritage, in Amsterdam

Bouwe Hijma

18 August 2014