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All Exhibits (15 total)

2015 Calendar

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This exhibit uses daily and monthly celebrations to highlight the collections available at the National Agricultural Library. Come back every month for a new selection of images and calendar pages to download! Calendar Pages Each file includes 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17 pages. January 2015 calendar page (28mb PDF) February 2015 calendar page (32mb PDF) March 2015 calendar page (30mb PDF) April 2015 calendar page (24mb PDF) May 2015 calendar page (26mb PDF) June 2015 calendar page (17mb PDF) July 2015 calendar page (17mb PDF) August 2015 calendar page (17mb PDF)

Alvin L. Young Collection on Agent Orange

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Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture. The Alvin L. Young Collection on Agent…

An Illustrated Expedition of North America

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In 1832 naturalist Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian (1782-1867), ruler of the small state of Neuwied, Prussia [now in Germany], conducted one of the earliest expeditions to the American West to record the natural history of the region. Accompanying him were Swiss-born artist Karl Bodmer, who produced numerous drawings illustrating their travels, and David Dreidoppel, Maximilian's servant and a skilled hunter-taxidermist. Although Maximilian and Bodmer were not the first to explore the American West and record their observations, they were the first team combining a trained, dedicated scientist with an especially skilled illustrator, whose collaboration resulted in a work of unique historical, scientific, and aesthetic…

Events at the Library

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From time to time, the National Agricultural Library hosts public or semi-public events at its physical location in Beltsville, Maryland. These events can include educational lectures, meetings of professional societies, and award ceremonies and Special Collections often puts together a small exhibit of relevant materials for visitors to enjoy. The pages within this digital exhibit are records of the events and the items selected for display at these events.

Frank N. Meyer

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Frank N. Meyer (1875-1918) In 1901, Frans Nicholas Meijer emigrated from the Netherlands to America where he became Frank Meyer. Almost immediately, Meyer went to work for the United States Department of Agriculture's Erwin F. Smith, known internationally for his groundbreaking work in bacteriology. In 1902, Meyer began working at USDA's Plant Introduction Station in Santa Ana, California.The period from 1905 to 1908 marked the beginning of Meyer's expeditions to Asia, where he collected plants in China, Russia, and Japan, as well as other countries. During his second expedition from 1909 to 1912, he collected in Europe, Russia, and in China. From 1913 to 1915, he explored and collected plants in Russia and China. Meyer's fourth and…

Historic Poster Collections

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The Poster Collection depicts such areas as the development of the poultry industry, insect control, plant protection, and the role of agriculture in World War I. From increased production to seed selection to the conservation of farm products through careful storage, canning, drying, and preserving, these historic posters present unique documentation on past efforts to disseminate agricultural information at national, state, and local levels. For more from the Poster Collection, visit our collection at the Internet Archive.

Manuscript Collections

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A manuscript collection is loosely defined as a group of materials that are assembled together because of some historical or literary significance. These images reflect the broad range of materials in Special Collections' Manuscript Collections. Each image is a digital reproduction of the original artwork or written text.

Nursery and Seed Trade Catalogs

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The following are digitized covers from Special Collections' Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Catalog Collection. The collection consists of over 200,000 American and foreign catalogs. The earliest catalogs date from the late 1700s, but the collection is strongest from the 1890s to the present. Each image is a digital reproduction of the original artwork. Click on each image below to view a larger image of that seed catalog cover. For more Nursery and Seed Trade Catalogs, visit our collection at the Internet Archive.

Past Exhibits

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Each page in this exhibit represents a category of items previously exhibited or a digital representation of a physical exhibit.

Popcorn: Ingrained in America's Agricultural History

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Everyone seems to love popcorn. It has become a mainstay at movie theaters, sporting events, amusement parks, and nearly everywhere else people gather. Although Americans are now such avid consumers of popcorn, and its agricultural history is long, its commercial history is comparatively short. Popcorn was not mentioned in early farm papers and seed trade catalogs until around 1880, but once the American public discovered it, popcorn's popularity quickly grew.Nearly all of the world's popcorn production is in the United States, with 25 states growing the crop. Over one fourth of the national production is in Nebraska, and Indiana produces only slightly less. Other major popcorn-producing states are Illinois, Ohio, and…

Rare Books

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The following are digitized images or plates from Special Collections' Rare Book Collection. This collection is strong in a number of agricultural sciences and includes works by many great herbalists, as well as renowned works on flowers and fruits from both the 18th and 19th centuries. Each image is a digital reproduction of the original artwork or written text.

Smokey Bear

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Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service’s popular icon of wildfire prevention, was created during World War II to publicize the need to protect a critical natural resource—wood. To combat the incidence of human-caused forest fires, the U.S. Forest Service established the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) program in 1942. The CFFP adopted Smokey as its official symbol two years later. Smokey Bear’s famous slogan, “Only you can prevent forest fires,” was added in 1947 by the Wartime Advertising Council, known today as the Ad Council. The first artist’s rendering of Smokey was created by Albert Staehle (http://www.albertstaehle.info/) in 1944. Staehle was followed by numerous other Smokey…

STOP Screwworms: Selections from the Screwworm Eradication Collection

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The STOP Screwworms: Selection from the Screwworm Eradication Collection program was created in April of 2000 and therefore the information may not be current. To receive more current information, please contact us with your comments and questions.

The American Dairy Industry

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Pennsylvania Dairy Barn

USDA History Collection

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Hints for Researchers The major feature of this exhibit is the finding aid (formal title: Guide to the USDA History Collection). A finding aid is a research tool used to describe a collection of documents held by an archives, library or museum. It presents a detailed description of the collection, its major subdivisions, and the intellectual organization of the materials. The finding aid is the primary point of access for anyone doing research in the collection, and can help in determining if the collection will satisfy the informational needs of the researcher. The References and Research Guides section includes notes on using the finding aid, and brings together additional information about people and topics covered in the collection.…