Vintage Housekeeping Books – Free Online Homemaking Books – Home Economics

Vintage housekeeping books, free online books about homemaking, housekeeping, house cleaning, home management and home economics. Included are old housekeeping books from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Hint: When a book you want to borrow at Internet Archive is already checked out, go to the Internet Archive’s ‘Search’ box, check “Search Metadata”, and search for the book’s title. Sometimes they have two or more copies.

Century Past Library


Household Hints

Dwellings Collection

About 1,600 free online books on the subject of “Dwellings”, including home maintenance, repair and restoration. Be patient as the page loads.

Home Economics Collection

Boston PL
Boston PL        Dewey Dec.    398

67 books contributed to the Internet Archive by the Boston Public Library, on cooking, homemaking, housekeeping, home economics, and household management. All appear to be vintage books from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Free online magazines about Home, Family & Garden

House Cleaning Collection

A collection of over 170 books resulting from a search in Internet Archive for “house cleaning”. Nearly all published within the last 30 years or so, these books contain household hints, advice on house cleaning, homemaking, housework, organizing work, and controlling clutter.

Household Economics. A Course of Lectures in the School of Economics of the University of Wisconsin

Campbell, Mrs Helen (Stuart)
Putnam 1897        Dewey Dec.    640

References at end of each chapter. States the problems of family life, driving home the conviction of their importance. The organic relation of household activities with all others is made plain.
– – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Also see: State College of Washington, Home Economics: A Bibliography for High Schools in Section 016.6 Useful Arts in Subject Book Catalogs & Books on Librarianship

The American Frugal Housewife, Dedicated to those who are Not Ashamed of Economy

Child, Lydia Maria Francis
NY: Samuel & William Wood 1834        Dewey Dec.    640

Also see: State College of Washington, Home Economics: A Bibliography for High Schools in Section 016.6 Useful Arts in Subject Book Catalogs & Books on Librarianship

Vintage Housekeeping Books

Selected Biographical Articles

The Young Housekeeper’s Friend

Cornelius, Mrs.
Boston: Brown, Taggard & Chase 1859        Dewey Dec.    640


Harland, Marion, ed.
Hall and Locke 1911        Dewey Dec.    640

Volume 2 in a 10-vol. series called “Vocations” edited by William DeWitt Hyde. This volume contains 2 parts; “Our Homes” and “The Home When Made”; each part with about 20 essays by different people.

Vintage Housekeeping Books

Big Book of Hints from Heloise

Berkley 2002        Dewey Dec.    640

Includes “Heloise from A to Z” and “All-new hints from Heloise”.

First Aid to the Young Housekeeper

Herrick, Mrs Christine (Terhune)
Scribner 1900        Dewey Dec.    640

About marketing, kitchen fire, cooking processes, tidy and sanitary housekeeping, management of servants. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Vintage Housekeeping Books

The Hearthstone, or, Life at Home: a Household Manual …

Containing Hints and Helps for Home making; Home furnishing; Decorations Amusements, Health directions, the Sick-room, the Nursery, the Library, the Laundry, etc., together with A Complete Cookery Book

Holloway, Laura C.
Smith & Miller 1886        Dewey Dec.    640

Contents: Homes, Ancient and Modern, – Home-making and Home-management, – The Baby in the Home, – “Upstairs, Down-stairs, in my Lady’s Chamber”, – Sports and Games for Ladies, – The Library in the Home, – Choice of Occupation, – In the Sick-room, – The Physician in the Home, – Medicinal and Hygienic Recipes, – Economy in the Home, – Life at Home, – Household Ornamentation, – Floriculture and Horticulture, – The Laundry, – The Toilet, – Company in the Home, – Home Memories, – Pets in the Household, – The Mother in the Home, – Duty of Parents to Children, – Death in the Home, – Home Architecture, – The Kitchen in the Home, – Cookery Recipes, – Miscellaneous Household Recipes, – Social Forms

See our collection of Etiquette Guides and Advice

The Complete How to Figure It

Huff, Darrell
Norton 1996        Dewey Dec.    640

“When should I roll over my mortgage?” “How much paint will it take to redo the house?” “How can I improve my first-serve percentage in tennis?” The math anxious and math avoiders among us can’t even balance our checkbooks, but modern life regularly confronts us with puzzling calculations. Now Darrell Huff, best-selling author of the classic How to Lie with Statistics, offers easy-to-follow solutions (with and without a pocket calculator) to the thousand and one calculations we need to make day by day, from budgeting current expenses to planning for retirement, from purchasing a home to travel, sports, and entertainment” -Publisher

Contents: A lifetime money strategy — Some personal things — Interest and saving — Investing — Other people’s money — Getting a home loan — Spending — Measuting things — House planning — Building things — Measuring at home — Rafters and beams — Around the house — Operating your shelter — Workshop numbers — Your car — Travel — Outdoors — Fun and games — Business decisions — Conversions — Math in a hurry — Chance and statistics — Reality and illusion — Stretching a calculator — Computer does numbers.

Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

Levine, Judith
Free Press 2007        Dewey Dec.    640

Contents:December 2003: Panic — January: Surplus — February: Consumer Psychology — March: New and Improved — April: In/Voluntary Simplicity — May: Scarcity — June: Redistribution of Wealth — July: Structural Adjustments — August: Memories of Underdevelopment — September: Security Fraud — October: Brand America — November: The Ownership Society — December: Prosperity

The Housekeeper’s Book: Comprising Advice on the Conduct of Household Affairs in General …

and particular directions for the preservation of furniture, bedding, &c; for the laying in and preserving of provisions; with a complete collection of receipts for economical domestic cookery. The whole carefully prepared for the use of American housekeepers. By a Lady

McDougall, Frances Harriet
Philadelphia: Marshall 1837        Dewey Dec.    640

Vintage housekeeping books.

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House

Mendelson, Cheryl
Scribner 1999        Dewey Dec.    640

The classic bestselling resource for every American home. Choosing fabrics, cleaning china, keeping the piano in tune, making a good fire, folding a fitted sheet, setting the dining room table, keeping surfaces free of food pathogens, watering plants, removing stains — Home Comforts addresses the meanings as well as the methods of hands — on housekeeping to help you manage everyday chores, find creative solutions to modern domestic dilemmas, and enhance the experience of life at home.

Books on Fashion Industry, Costume History, How Cloth is Made, Textiles

Home Economics. A Practical Guide in Every Branch of Housekeeping

Parloa, Maria
Century 1898        Dewey Dec.    640

Authoritative manual of household management, inclusive, accurate, useful. Well indexed and practical for the housekeeper on a small or large scale. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904. Vintage housekeeping books.

Cost of Living as Modified by Sanitary Science

Richards, Mrs E. H. (Swallow)
Wiley 1899        Dewey Dec.    640

Attempts to indicate best methods, and the proper division of Incomes of from $1,500 to $3,000 between food, rent, running expenses, clothing, service, the emotional and intellectual life, etc. – A.L.A. Catalog 1904

Bibliography of Domestic Economy

Shaw, Robert Kendall
New York State Library 1901        Dewey Dec.    640, 016.6

Books in these categories:
– Economics of Consumption – Food, cooking, kitchen – Gastronomy, eating, dining room – Shelter, house, home – Heat, light, ventilation – Furniture, carpets, upholstery – Clothing, toilet, etc. – Administration, household management – Sanitary precautions, cleaning, etc. – Nursery, sick room. Vintage housekeeping books.

Home Economics: A Bibliography for High Schools

State College of Washington Department of Home Economics
State College of Washington 1913        Dewey Dec.    016.6

Books are recommended under four categories:
-Food and Nutrition – Textiles, Clothing, and Home Furnishing – Sanitation – Home Management

The Housekeeper and Gardener

Upton, Rebecca A.
Boston: Crosby, Nichols 1858        Dewey Dec.    640

Vintage housekeeping book.

The Intellectual House-Keeper: A Series of Practical Questions to his Daughters, by a Father …

or Hints to Females on the Necessity of Thought in Connexion with their Domestic Labors and Duties. With an Album

Boston: Russel, Odiorne 1835        Dewey Dec.    640

Vintage housekeeping book.

Home Décor

Interior Decoration Collection

Big collection of over 2,300 modern books and magazines that are free online at the Internet Archive, related to “interior decoration”. You can use the “Search this Collection” box to narrow down the search. Be patient while the page loads.

Home Furnishing and Decoration Collection

About 120 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of Home Furnishing and Decoration.

Free online magazines about Fashion & Style

House Furnishings Collection

About 350 books from the Internet Archive free online on the subject of House Furnishings.

Be patient while the page loads.

Interior Design Collection

About 330 free online books on the subject of “Interior Design”.

Free online magazines about Home, Family & Garden

Home Furnishing, Practical and Artistic

Kellogg, Alice Maude
Stokes 1905        Dewey Dec.    645

“Considers each room separately and suggests appropriate furnishings and decorations for each. Urges harmony, simplicity and refinement.” – – A.L.A.Catalog 1904-11

Also see: Varney, Almon C., Our Homes and their Adornments, or, How to Build, Finish, Furnish, and Adorn a Home in Section 728 Residential & related buildings in Architecture – Public and Residential Buildings

Artistic Houses; Being a Series of Interior Views of a Number of the Most Beautiful and Celebrated Homes in the United States; Vol 1,
Part 1

Vol 1, Part 2

Vol 2, Part 1

Vol 2, Part 2

With a Description of the Art Treasures Contained Therein

King, David James
NY: Appleton 1883        

Each volume contains descriptions of a number of rooms in prominent homes, with B&W photos at the back of the volume. Among the 14 homes profiled in the first volume are those of Louis Comfort Tiffany, President Grant, and J. Pierpont Morgan. Note: You’ll need to individually copy the photos to another application to rotate them to their correct position.

Century Past Library