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Mary Beeman collection

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: UA-041

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a box of recipe cards and digital photographs of historic costumes collected by former Home Economics professor Mary Beeman. The materials in this collection range in date from the 1910s to the 2010s.


  • 1910s-2010s

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Ball State University Libraries make every reasonable effort to provide accurate information regarding the copyright status of materials held by Archives and Special Collections. Patrons may scan items or request a reproduction of one or more items in the collection; however, it is the responsibility of the patron to evaluate whether or not the intended use complies with copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Mary Beeman was a pioneer in vocational home economics in Indiana. Miss Beeman was head of the home economics department at Ball State University for 22 years. Before that she had been supervisor of home economics in the Muncie schools 1918-24 and state supervisor of Home economics for the Indiana Department of Public Instruction 1924-29. She came to Ball State from the latter post, in which she was instrumental in publishing the first courses of study for home economics for Indiana schools. At Ball State, Miss Beeman was instrumental in getting the first federal funds for the college under the Smith-Hughes Act, when approval was received to train vocational personnel as well as general home economics teachers. A dietetics program was started in 1937, adult evening classes in home economics were offered, and the first home management house was opened.

In 1938 she was invited by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a White House Conference on Nutrition which designed a program for military personnel and civilians at the beginning of World War II. She organized the Indiana State Nutrition Council and was its chairman for many years. She was invited to a second White House conference by President Harry S. Truman in 1948. Active in professional organizations, Miss Beeman was secretary-treasurer of the Indiana Vocational Association, president and editor of the Indiana Home Economics Association and one of 17 state founders of Delta Kappa Gamma, international society for women in education. She was a charter member and first president of Eta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma in Muncie.

After Miss Beeman's retirement to the status of professor emeritus in 1951, the university named a hall in the DeHority Halls Complex the Mary Beeman Hall. Rekamemoh Club for home economics students, which she helped to found, was renamed the Mary Beeman Club. Miss Beeman received a Fulbright Award in 1951 to teach home economics in Silliman University in the Philippines and she established a program there for supervision of elementary and high school classes. After the Ford Foundation built a home economics building at the Beirut College for Women in Lebanon, she was invited to spend the 1954-55 year there helping the American college equip the foods and clothing laboratories.

Miss Beeman was born in Boone County in 1884, the daughter of Elisha C. and Catherine Lucas Beeman. She earned a B.A. degree at Bradley University and an M.A. at Teachers College of Columbia University, and did graduate work at the University of Chicago and New York University. She taught in rural schools in Boone County, at Lebanon, and in the Bradley Academy at Peoria, Ill., before coming to Muncie. Miss Beeman was a 60-year member of Muncie Altrusa Club, and a member of the American Association of University Women and the First Presbyterian Church. She passed away March 8, 1984 at Ball Memorial Hospital.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 small archival CD box)

9.29 Gigabytes : digital images of 98 costumes

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Collected Recipes, 1930-1969

Series 2: Historic Costumes Collection photographs, 1910s-2010s

UA Restructuring

Mary Beeman collected recipes, RG.04.01.44, was combined with the newly acquired historic costumes digital photographs to create UA.041.

Processing Information

Recipe collection processing completed by Thomas Lutholtz on 2014-09-11. Costume photographs added and collection reprocessed by Mindy Shull on 2021-12-02.

Mary Beeman collection
Mindy Shull
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Ball State University Archives Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA