I spent several hours last Thursday in the archives of my university, and during this time I found several interesting documents that I think will be helpful in shaping my contribution to the Century America project. The Alabama Girls Technical Institute, one of the predecessor institutions of my university, operated a farm and a dairy both before and during the period we are researching, and many of the pertinent documents that I have read so far deal with the Institute’s struggles with labor uncertainty as it related to food and milk production. I also found a Food Conservation Bulletin from October, 1917, that was distributed by A.G.T.I.; this bulletin provided a number of recipes designed to conserve food items, including sugar, meats, and dairy products. These types of efforts seem to have been an important method of saving funds for the Alabama Girls Technical Institute, whose Board of Trustees Minutes frequently mention financial strain during the war years. In the same source, there are later recordings of influenza outbreaks among the students and faculty, events that seem to have affected the campus in a significant way.
I’ve previously done research on the early period of my university’s history in the 1890s, and I’ve enjoyed reading more about how the institution has evolved and adapted in subsequent decades. I look forward to heading back to the archives again this week!