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Michigan Dietetic Association records

Identifier: 00164

Scope and Contents

The records of the Michigan Dietetic Association include scrapbooks, Executive Board minutes, bulletins, convention reports, information chronicling the history of the organization, and American Dietetic Association literature pertaining to the Michigan Dietetic Association and the field of dietetics in general.

Items of special interest in this collection are the seven scrapbooks which broadly portray the history of the Michigan Dietetic Association using photographs, news clippings, and copies of The Bulletin, the official newsletter of the organization.

Board meeting minutes and convention reports reveal the planning behind many special activities of the Michigan Dietetic Association. Cassette recordings of the April 1974 Board meeting include a discussion of the classification of dietitians at different levels as recommended and later implemented by the American Dietetic Association.


  • Creation: 1929 - 1987


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The Michigan Dietetic Association (MDA) originated from an informal meeting of dietitians attending a convention of the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association on April 25-26, 1929. Realizing the need for a statewide organization, they convened the first MDA meeting on April 26, 1929 at Post Tavern in Battle Creek, Michigan, with seventeen people attending. Miss Lenna F. Cooper, Food Director at the University of Michigan, was elected President, and Bess Whittaker, Michigan State College, was elected Vice-President.

The MDA was accepted for affiliation by the American Dietetic Association in April 1931. A professional organization, the purpose of the MDA was to provide dietetic practice education, encourage research, and promote optimal health and nutrition. The MDA has played an important role in the growth of the dietetic profession. Many prominent dietitians were members of the organization. Lenna Cooper was one of the founders and first vice president of the American Dietetic Association, serving as president in 1938-1939. Miss Cooper was appointed Superintendent of Dietitians for the U.S. Army during World War I. She spent the greater part of her career as Head Dietitian at the Battle Creek Sanitarium Hospital in Battle Creek, Michigan, one of the pioneering institutions in the field of nutrition. She also authored several books on dietetics.

Mary I. Barber, another well known member of the Michigan Dietetic Association, was the first "dollar a year woman" in Washington when she accepted appointment by the Secretary of War as Food Consultant to the Quartermaster Department in charge of Army menu planning during World War II. She was awarded the nation's highest civilian award, The Emblem for Exceptional Civilian Service, for her efforts. She wrote many books, including a history of the American Dietetic Association.


4 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of the Michigan Dietetic Association.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Michigan Dietetic Association Records
4 Published And Cataloged
L. Thompson
January 1987
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US