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Elizabeth E. May Papers

Identifier: 1997-0119

Scope and Content

The collection contains Dr. May's correspondence, memoranda, reports, articles, speeches, books, photographs, awards and notes pertaining to her career, although there is a small amount of personal information. The materials date from 1901 to 1994 but the bulk of the materials are concentrated in the period 1940 through 1970. Major topics included in the collection are Home Economics, Rehabilitation and related issues, and education. Of particular note and interest is her work concerning handicapped homemakers, both nationally and internationally. There is a significant amount of photographs in the collection, only a small number of which have been sorted and identified.


  • Creation: undated, 1901-1996


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


Elizabeth Eckhardt May, a former University of Connecticut dean, was born on 18 February 1899 in Folsom, NJ. She earned her first degree from Trenton State Normal School in Trenton, NJ. She received a Bachelor of Science, Masters of Arts, and her Doctoral Degree in Education from Columbia University. Along with these, Dr. May also received her Professional degree from the Columbia University Teachers College, specializing in Adult Education.

As a noted educator, administrator, writer and researcher, Dr. May began her career with the West Virginia University Agricultural Extension Service. She began, there, as a County Home Demonstration Agent and worked her way up through District Agent to State Specialist in Community Organization. During her tenure at West Virginia University, Dr. May became the Executive Secretary of Oglebay Institute and also was in charge of the programs run at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, WV.

Her career continued on with her appointment as Executive Secretary of the White House Conference on Children in Democracy. Following this service, she taught at both the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan. In 1943, Dr. May was named Academic Dean and Dean of Faculty at Hood College in Frederick, MD. Dr. May joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 1952 as Dean of the School of Home Economics. She retired from the University in 1964.

Along with her work as Dean, Dr. May pioneered and directed a project focusing on rehabilitation of the handicapped. Her focus broadened with research in independent living for the handicapped and the elderly. In conjunction with other professors from the University of Connecticut, she conducted an International Exhibit about rehabilitation for the handicapped. Her sabbatical study entailed traveling Europe and researching European methods of rehabilitation of the handicapped. She served as a member on the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped.

After her retirement from the University of Connecticut, Dr. May published two books, with her co-authors, Neva Waggoner and Eleanor Hotte, entitled Homemaking for the Handicapped (1966) and Independent Living for the Handicapped and the Elderly (1974). She continued to work in the field of rehabilitation as a consultant and a lecturer.

Elizabeth Eckhardt was married to a noted New York architect, Charles C. May. They had one child, Margaret May Kessel. Dr. May has been honored with a number of awards for her scholarly work and service. Elizabeth May died in 1996.


14.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



A noted educator, administrator, writer and researcher, Dr. May joined the faculty of the University of Connecticut in 1952 as Dean of the School of Home Economics at the University of Connecticut. She retired from the University in 1964.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Margaret May Kessel in June 1997.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

Dennis, Lawrence E., ed. Education and a Woman's Life. Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education, 1963. Dodd Call No. A 4185

Foott, Sydney, ed. Kitchen Sense for disabled people of all ages. London: Published for the Disabled Living Foundation by William Heinemann Medical Books, Ltd., 1976. Dodd Call No. A 4189

Gilbreth, Lillian Moller. The Quest of the One Best Way. New York: Society of Women Engineers, undated Dodd Call No. A 4188

May, Elizabeth Eckhardt, Neva R. Waggoner and Eleanor M. Boettke. Homemaking for the Handicapped. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1966. Dodd Call No. C 5298

May, Elizabeth Eckhardt, Neva R. Waggoner and Eleanor Boettke Hotte. Independent Living for the Handicapped and the Elderly. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974. Dodd Call No. C 5299

Maynard, Harold B., G. J. Stegemerten and John L. Schwab. Methods-Time Measurement. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1948. Dodd Call No. A 4190

National Manpower Council. Womanpower. A Statement by the National Manpower Council with Chapters by the Council Staff. New York: Columbia University Press, 1957. Dodd Call No. A 4187

Sherman, Helen and Marjorie Coe. The Challenge of Being a Woman: Her role in Modern Life. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1955. Dodd Call No. A 4186

Individual issues of serial publications found in the collection have been integrated into the appropriate subject area.

Elizabeth E. May Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
1997 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US