Table of Contents
The USDA Human Nutrition Information Service (HNIS) Records consist of historical information on food and nutrition research and information development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1922 to 1994. The collection includes reports, articles, memoranda, and charts about the history and organization of HNIS, highlights of its accomplishments, nutrition research activities, and publications. There are brochures and leaflets on nutrition guidelines and healthful eating. The collection also includes correspondence, recipes, food guide information, surveys, and speeches. Gerald Smith of the USDA Agricultural Research Service donated these materials after the HNIS was abolished in 1994.
The collection occupies 2.5 linear feet and occupies five document boxes. The materials are in poor to good condition. Access is restricted to one folder of material due to the presence of personally identifiable information of former employees. There are no restrictions on using the rest of the materials for research; however, some materials are fragile and may require staff assistance to view them.
The collection was described by Sara Lee, Special Collections archivist, and was later arranged and inventoried by Valerie Linsinbigler, Special Collections intern, in 2018.
The Human Nutrition Information Service (HNIS) offered dietary guidance and support services to the Food and Nutrition Service (later named the Food and Consumer Service) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from November 1981 through February 1994. HNIS was primarily responsible for the USDA’s role in the National Nutrition Monitoring System and in formulating dietary guidelines for the American public. The HNIS promoted healthy eating habits by conducting food consumption surveys, food composition research, and nutrition education programs. HNIS was abolished by USDA in 1994, and its functions were transferred to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
Scope and Content Note
The USDA Human Nutrition Information Service Records contain historical background information about food and nutrition research and dietary guideline development in the USDA. The records include documents on legislative authority for nutrition research and education, the history and organization of HNIS, highlights of the organization’s accomplishments, and materials related to nutrition and health guidelines.
Collection materials include research reports on human nutrition, surveys, publications about nutrition, articles on dietary guidelines and their graphical representations, and nutrition brochures and leaflets. This collection also includes a few items about home economics projects related to textiles and clothing, as well as undated economic studies.
This collection is arranged into two series based on subject matter. Series I covers HNIS history and organization. Series II contains information about HNIS nutrition research, publications, and surveys.
Human Nutrition Research Division reorganization
Restricted: Personal information
|1||2||Human Nutrition Research Division reorganization||1968-1971|
|1||3||Human nutrition research historical background and chronology||1922-1976|
“Historical Outline of Food and Nutrition Research in the
Department of Agriculture from W. O. Atwater to 1976”
|1||5||Organization and management||1943-1958|
|1||7||USDA reorganization and HNIS mission||1981-1985|
|1||8||History of HNIS research activities||1967-1984|
|1A||10||List of HNIS administrative reports||Undated|
|1A||11||Records management||1971, 1991-1992|
|1A||12||HNIS mission statement and organizational charts||1984-1991|
|1A||13||U.S. Congress representatives and contacts||1994, undated|
|1A||14||Legislative authority, public policy, and HNIS agency information||1977-1992|
|1A||15||“Early History of Human Nutrition in USDA”||Undated|
|1A||16||Miscellaneous organizational charts||1933, 1981, 1986|
|1A||17||HNIS Administrator’s statement on fiscal year 1992 budget request||1991|
|1A||18||Staff project charts|
|1A||19||Letter from Gerald Smith to Susan Fugate regarding transfer of HNIS documents to the National Agricultural Library||Undated|
|2||20||Conversion table of common retail and household units of food into pounds||1946|
|2||21||The “Basic 7” food groups poster and article||1945, 1955|
|2||22||Home Economics research reports||1960|
|2||23||Food and nutrition research planning and accomplishments||1967|
|2||24||Audit of Institute of Home Economics||1960|
|2||25||Articles on dietary advice and meal planning||1980, 1984|
|2||26||Information about USDA publication “Food II” (also called “Food 2” or “Food/2”)||1981-1982|
|2||27||Census of Agriculture publicity||1982|
|2||28||Nutrition research publication and promotion activities||Circa 1981-1991|
|2||29||HNIS progress report||1988-1989|
|2||30||USDA nutrition information services and policy||1984-1990, undated|
|2||31||Food guides and articles about dietary guidelines||1935-1990|
|2||32||International Food Consumption Survey||1990|
|2||33||Human nutrition and dietary guidelines research||1985-1992|
|2||34||Background on dietary guidelines for Americans||Undated|
|3||35||“Men and Milestones in American Agriculture”||1966|
|3||36||Articles on food for couples and young families||1926-1971|
|3||37||“The Dietary Goals and Food on the Table”||1977|
|3||38||Nationwide Food Consumption Survey||1978-1991|
|3||39||Legislative authorities for USDA food and nutrition research||1965, 1982|
|3||40||“The Thrifty Food Plan”||1983|
|3||41||“Food Groups for USDA Family Food Plans”||1983|
|3||42||Results from food editors survey||1984|
|3||43||Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and slide presentation||1985|
|3||44||Articles about food groups and dietary guidelines||1950-1994|
|3||45||Background on HNIS policy for dietary guidance||1987, undated|
|3||46||Reprints: Journal of Nutrition Education articles on USDA dietary guidelines||1989|
|3||47||Focus groups report on American attitudes toward meal planning and nutrition||1989|
|3||48||Nutrition pamphlets and posters||1941-1990|
“Progress in Sharing the Dietary Guidelines for
|3||50||Public relations, meeting notes, and talking points related to food guidelines||1990-1991|
“Nutrition Monitoring: Mismanagement of Nutrition Survey Has
Resulted in Questionable Work.” U.S. General Accounting Office
|3||52||“Eating Right Pyramid”||1991|
|3||53||Dietary guidance graphic alternatives||1992|
|3||54||“USDA Food Guide: Background and Development”||1992|
|3||55||USDA Food Guides – Bibliographies||1992, undated|
|3||56||USDA's Food Guides – History and development||1970-1993|
|3||57||“USDA Tables of Food Composition: History and Progress”||Undated|
|4||58||“Coordination of Federal Nutrition Programs”||1945|
|4||59||“A National Program of Research for Agriculture”||1966|
|4||60||“Nutritive Quality of Diets, USA”||Circa 1968|
|4||61||“Eating the Moderate Fat and Cholesterol Way”||1982|
|4||62||Food and nutrition information from USDA and legislative authorities||1982|
|4||63||Statement by Raymond D. Lett, Executive Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, regarding information systems and services||1982|
|4||64||USDA focus group report on food preparation, menu planning, and eating out||1988|
|4||65||Background paper on dietary guidelines for Americans||1988|
|4||66||Home economics project summaries||Circa 1932|
Related Collections at the National Agricultural Library
Wilbur Olin Atwater Papers, 1865-1993. Manuscript Collection 261.
International Food Information Service Records, 1970-1993. Manuscript Collection 283.
Charles Ford Langworthy Papers, 1904-1919. Manuscript Collection 96.
Nutrition Publications from Sandy Facinoli, 1922-1989. Manuscript Collection 318.
Hazel Katherine Stiebeling Papers, 1919-1990. Manuscript Collection 267.
USDA Textile Publications, 1920-1962. Manuscript Collection 308.
USDA Bureau of Human Nutrition and Home Economics Records, 1921-1972. Manuscript Collection 334.