January 21, 2005 | By: Aimee Heald-Nielson

 For nearly 75 years, the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association has offered programs and activities to enrich the lives of Kentucky’s women and families. Now many records of those activities will be preserved for future generations.

A committee of KEHA has worked hard the past few months to compile documents that tell the story of Extension Homemakers in Kentucky. Recently they brought the records to the University of Kentucky to be preserved and stored in the official University Archives and Records program.

“Extension Homemakers and the Women’s Club of Kentucky do the best job of preparing their materials and their collections to send to the University Archive and Records Program,” said Nancy DeMarcus, acting UARP manager. “These things we preserve are the history of the university. They tell the story of UK and all of its assets - not just academic, but also student culture, campus organizations, presidential and faculty papers, just all kinds of records. We want to capture all of it and we are thankful for their hard work.”

The records will be stored in a temperature and humidity controlled environment on UK’s Lexington campus. Visitors can view the materials in the library and records occasionally may be loaned out for special conferences and events.

KEHA President Rene Siria believes preserving the organization's history is important.

“As a student of history, I realize how important it is to have the history of any organization or business,” she said. “This gives everyone in the future an idea of what we did in the past and I really appreciate what the committee did. I look forward to finding some even older information about the very beginning of our organization.”

Evelyn Ballard, a Clark County Homemaker for about 40 years, was part of the committee charged with compiling historical records for KEHA.

"We collected meeting minutes, pictures and different things we have been involved in through the years – a lot of memories and information,” she said. “When we think now of something we’d like to go back and check on that happened in the years before, we didn’t really know where to find it before. Now we know we can go to the archives. I’m glad we were encouraged to do this.”

Bonnie Tanner, retired UK Assistant Director forFamily and Consumer Sciences, said many other things hopefully will be added to the collection in the future.

“Some of the counties have scrapbooks and they (the archives committee) are going to try to convince them to trust and to transfer them here (UARP) so they will be preserved for everyone,” she said. “Pendleton County had a flood and they lost everything, so we need to preserve these old scrapbooks and things that are just so vital to the history of Kentucky.”

The UARP maintains archival holdings which preserve the history of UK and provides a reference center for historical research and the dissemination of information about UK's history. It is located on the second floor of the Margaret I. King Library. For more information contact DeMarcus at (859) 257-8372 or send an e-mail to uarp@lsv.uky.edu.


Editor: Aimee Nielson 859-257-4736, ext. 267

Contact: Darlene Tipton 859-257-3887