Martha Van Rensselaer letter books from 1901-1905.
In 1900, Liberty Hyde Bailey invited Martha Van Rensselaer to Cornell to organize an extension program for New York State's rural women. In 1908 Cornell offered full-time home economics courses and Van Rensselaer and Flora Rose were invited to head the Department of Home Economics. In 1911 the women were appointed to professorships, the first for women at Cornell. In 1919, Van Rensselaer’s duties expanded when the Cornell trustees authorized the establishment of a School of Home Economics. In 1925, Cornell's College of Home Economics became the first state-chartered school of its type in the country, and Van Rensselaer and Rose were named co-directors.