Leonora Hering Memorial Poultry papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk 2017-18.040

Level of description



Leonora Hering Memorial Poultry papers


  • 1849-1980 (Creation)


1.00 Box

Name of creator


Biographical history

Leonora C. "Nora" Hering (1898-1983) collected poultry art, artifacts, and publications. The scarcity of fresh eggs during the Second World War prompted Hering to begin breeding poultry. She voraciously read books and articles on the topic, frequently contacting land grant university librarians in order to track down elusive publications. She subscribed to poultry journals and amassed a sizable collection of books on the subject. Her acquisitions included books from the estate of Cornish poultry breeder Godfrey Trevelyan Williams. She also collected taxidermy specimens and depictions of poultry in art and on postage stamps.
By 1950, she had become an authority on the topic of poultry. James W Gwin, poultry marketing specialist at the University of Maryland, lauded her as the "poultry historian." Hering expressed a commitment to donating her various poultry-related collections to Kansas State College and coordinated her efforts with Department of Poultry Husbandry chairperson Loyal F. Payne.
In January 1953, Stanford University's Main Library displayed some of her books, drawings, and prints. In August 1955, she presented on the topic, "The Chicken in Art and Literature" at the 44th annual meeting of the National Poultry Science Association at Michigan State University in East Lansing, and later published an article of the same name in Cackle and Crow. She spoke to the Grolier Society on the topic of the Araucana breed in May 1959, and later developed an article on the topic for Poultry Press.
Over a twenty-five year period, Hering accumulated a collection of nearly 1000 poultry publications. Her international contacts included poultry specialists in New Zealand and Japan, and she was frequently recommended to those who sought historical information about the poultry trade, the origins of poultry breeding in the San Francisco Bay region, and other related topics.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, prints, postage stamps, journal and typescript articles pertaining to poultry breeder Leonora C. Hering (1898-1983). A member of the World’s Poultry Science Association and a former co-director of the American Partridge Plymouth Rock Club, Hering raised Houdans in Los Altos, California. Beginning as early as 1950, she sought to create a comprehensive poultry publication collection for Kansas State College by consulting with librarian William Behr and Department of Poultry Husbandry chairperson Loyal F. Payne.  Her monograph collection – consisting of nearly 1000 titles – was cataloged for the Libraries as the “Leonora Hering Memorial Poultry Collection.”
Sporadic copies of journals interleaved with correspondence, newspaper clippings, and ephemeral materials form the basis of this archival collection. They document Hering’s research, the international community of breeders, book dealers, and agriculture librarians with whom she corresponded. They cover issues related to poultry, including, but not limited to, farming and production, diseases, specific breeds and breeding associations, recipes, legal restrictions, marketing, rationing, incubation technologies, vocalizations, and children’s folk stories and postage stamps featuring poultry.
Publications are international in scope, with representative examples in multiple languages (1849-1973). All of the children’s stories are in Russian. Correspondence from England, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia is included (1952-1980), and some of those letters contain photographic images and postcards. A secondary interest in poultry philately is represented in correspondence with and acquisitions from stamp dealers. Poultry advertisements, the earliest of which originates from postbellum Ohio, also feature prominently.

Note:  A photostat of Basics of Industrial Poultry Production by D. I. Gerasimov (in Russian), along with correspondence
The Nora Hering Collection of taxidermy specimens and poultry art reside in Call Hall, which was home to the Department of Dairy Science and the Department of Poultry Science at the time of her gift.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged in one box.

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Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • French
  • Russian

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

It received accession number 2017-18.040.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acqusition Source: Leonora Hering (1898-1983)
Acqusition Method: Donation
Acqusition Date: 19830500

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Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Leonora Hering Memorial Poultry papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

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Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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