USDA History Collection
Brief Description of Collection
Title: The USDA History Collection
Provenance: Agricultural and Rural History Section, Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
Extent: ca. 650 cubic feet
Repository: National Agricultural Library, Special Collections, Beltsville, MarylandLocation: For access to this collection, contact Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, 301-504-5876
Materials created by agencies or employees of the United States government are in the public domain. Unless specified otherwise, the copyright interests in materials acquired or collected by government employees from outside sources have not been transferred to NAL or to the U.S. government.
[description of item, Series and Box/Folder number], USDA History Collection, Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.
The USDA History Collection was transferred to the National Agricultural Library, Special Collections, from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture in April 1996. Additional shipments of material were received in June, August, and October of 1997.
Processed by Alan H. Haeberle, Project Archivist; Matthew G. Brown, Heather M. Crocetto, Glenn R. Gray, and Rebecca A. Zeltinger, Graduate Assistants; with assistance of Christopher R. Miller, Graduate Assistant. Portions of the collection were processed by Mark Ames, Coralina Daly, Tom Eisinger, Scott Hertzberg, Thaddeus Krupo, Anne Meininger, Aaron Purcell, and Emma Wilmer, students in Dr. Bruce Dearstyne's course "Archival Principles, Practices, and Programs," LBSC 605, at the University of Maryland, College of Library and Information Services (link is external).
The materials in this collections were gathered over several decades by the staff of the Agricultural and Rural History Section (ARH) of the Economic Research Service (ERS). The ARH staff served as the official historians for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Historical work was carried out by various divisions in USDA over the years, principally by the Division of Statistical and Historical Research, which was part of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE) from its formation in 1922. When the BAE was abolished in 1953, the Division of Statistical and Historical Research was transferred to the Agricultural Marketing Service, 1953-1961. The Agricultural and Rural History Section (also called the Agricultural History Branch, or Agriculture and Rural History Branch) was established when the ERS was organized in 1961, and it inherited the Statistical and Historical Research files. The ARH was closed in 1994.