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Manuscript Collections Search

Special Collections at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Library houses manuscripts and archival records documenting the history of agriculture and the USDA from the 19th through the 21st centuries. These collections include correspondence, field notes, journals, photographs, publications, posters, and other items of individuals who worked for or were associated with the USDA, individuals involved in non-USDA agricultural activities, and organizations related to agriculture. For more information or to schedule a visit, please contact Special Collections.


Displaying 451 - 469 of 469 Collections

Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. Collection

The Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. Collection consists of materials related to Dr. Kirkbride's work in the USDA-Agricultural Research Service's Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory. The collection contains reports, photographic slides, and transparencies from research trips abroad, including germplasm collecting trips to Portugal, Spain, Morocco, and Brazil, as well as a trip to Japan. There are also images of botanical, cultural, and scenic interest from these trips.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Joseph Harold Kirkbride, Jr. (b. 1943) served as a research botanist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service for 31 years, the last eight of which he worked at the U.S. National Arboretum. Dr. Kirkbride retired from USDA in 2016.
Collection Number: 472
Earliest Date: 1985
Latest Date: 2009
Bulk Dates: 1990
Linear Feet: 2.5
Subjects: Plant Science

U.S. Forest Service, Office of Geography, Drafting Department Photograph

One 9" x 7" black and white photograph c.1910 of the United States Forest Service, Office of Geography, Drafting Department. Four staff members are at their drafting desks. Two of the staff members are women. The names of the four individuals are listed on the back of the photograph: Ernst Lubeck, Gilbert Reeder, Rosalie Holberg, Clara Huggins. The location is not noted on the photograph but is most likely the Intermountain Regional Office in Ogden, Utah.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
The Office of Geography was within the Forest Service Branch of Operation, and was comprised of the sections of drafting, photography, atlas, and alienation. The duties of the office were to prepare forest maps and photographs, compile forest statistics, and determine legal status of lands within the national forests. The Office of Geography began in 1907, and units were located in Washington DC and various district headquarters. This particular unit is not identified on the photograph, but is very likely the Intermountain Regional Office in Ogden Utah.
Collection Number: 473
Earliest Date: 1907
Latest Date: 1916
Bulk Dates: 1910
Linear Feet: 0.25
Subjects: Forestry; USDA History
Formats: Photographs

Herbert Roedenbeck Papers

The Herbert Roedenbeck Papers consist mainly of stories and recollections written by Roedenbeck about his experiences as a farmer, rancher, and land dealer in Colorado and southeastern Texas during the early 20th century. Most of the documents in the collection are photocopies of Roedenbeck’s manuscripts. The collection also includes some photographs, postcards, and correspondence.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Herbert Roedenbeck (19 February 1881 - 21 July 1975) immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1906. As a young man in Germany, he operated a large farm near Brunswick and attended Heidelberg University. After he arrived in the United States, he pursued a number of agricultural interests. He experimented with growing several varieties of sugar beets in Colorado and planted an experimental citrus orchard in southern Texas. In 1909, he partnered with Theodore F. Koch, a Texas land developer, to buy and sell land to settlers. Roedenbeck planted one of the first commercial-scale rice crops in Texas in 1910, and developed a new strain of rice called "Roedenbeck Prolific." He served as a Chambers County commissioner from 1920 to 1924. During this term of service he promoted the practice of dipping cattle to eradicate the devastating Texas fever ticks. He left farming in 1928 and began leasing land for oil exploration.
Collection Number: 474
Earliest Date: 1903
Latest Date: 1975
Bulk Dates: 1967-1970
Linear Feet: 0.5
Subjects: Agricultural History
Formats: Photographs

Henry F. Shepherd Papers

The Henry F. Shepherd Papers consist of safety and personnel related documents, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, publications, photographs, scrapbooks, and material associated with "The President’s Safety Award" given to Shepherd in 1965.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Henry F. Shepherd was employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from the 1930s to 1967. He began his USDA career with the Soil Conservation Service in Ohio. Later he became the department’s Director of Safety. He led an effort to put safety belts in all department vehicles in the early 1960s, for which USDA won the President’s Safety Award. Shepherd retired from USDA in 1967.
Collection Number: 475
Earliest Date: 1920
Latest Date: 1965
Linear Feet: 4.5
Formats: Photographs

Henry M. Beachell and Charles N. Bollich Rice Research Field Notebooks

The Henry M. Beachell and Charles N. Bollich Rice Research Field Notebooks consist of approximately 600 bound notebooks in which the researchers recorded field data from experimental rice crops. The collection also includes Beachell’s daily field diaries from 1943 to 1959.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Henry M. (Hank) Beachell (1906-2006) was a researcher and plant breeder who worked jointly for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Beaumont, Texas. During his career at the experiment station, which began in 1932, he bred and introduced nine rice varieties. His varieties eventually accounted for more than 90 percent of U.S. long-grain rice production. After retiring from USDA in 1963, Beachell accepted a position at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, where he was involved in the development of the IR8 rice variety that set yield records in several Asian field experiments. He later received credit for helping alleviate malnutrition and poverty because of his role in developing, improving, and promoting the high-yield IR8 rice. In 1996, Beachell and his collaborator Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush shared the prestigious World Food Prize. Charles N. Bollich (born 1926) joined USDA in 1958 as an agronomist, developing disease-resistant rice cultivars at an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility in Crowley, Louisiana. He transferred to the USDA-ARS Rice Research Unit at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Beaumont, Texas in 1963 to head the federal/state rice breeding program there. In 1972, he became the research leader for that unit. During his career, Bollich led the development of 16 rice cultivars that are internationally recognized for their superior quality and high yields. His research led to the discovery of various genetic factors in grain quality, disease resistance, and insect resistance in rice. Bollich received numerous honors and awards for his scientific work, including the Agronomic Achievement Award from the American Society of Agronomy, and the Rice Foundation’s Meritorious Service Award. He was inducted into the USDA-ARS Science Hall of Fame in 1994 for his contributions to rice breeding and genetics. He retired from USDA in 1991.
Collection Number: 476
Earliest Date: 1932
Latest Date: 1991
Linear Feet: 22
Subjects: Plant Science

Lontar leaves manuscript: a Balinese calendar

This item is a palm leaf manuscript with notes on the Balinese calendar. It is undated but analysis of the script by any employee of KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies indicates it was created during the late nineteenth or first half of the twentieth cenutry.
Collection Number: 477
Earliest Date: 1890
Latest Date: 1950
Formats: Agricultural Art and Memorabilia
Digitization Status: Entire collection digitized

Donald L. Williams Papers

The Donald L. Williams Papers consist of materials related to the USDA's programs to eradicate screwworm and foot-and-mouth disease in livestock. The collection includes publications, certificates awarded to Dr. Williams, photographs of Dr. Williams with colleagues and conference attendees, and personal recollections by several people involved with the foot-and-mouth disease program.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Donald L. Williams (1922-2010) was a veterinarian with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During his long career at USDA, Dr. Williams served in Mexico as area supervisor, assistant district supervisor, and field veterinarian for the Animal Disease Eradication Division of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. He also worked on the joint state-federal Screwworm Eradication Program in Florida as assistant veterinarian-in-charge. In 1959, he became co-director of the Mexico-United States Commission for the Prevention of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Mexico City. Later he transferred to Washington, D. C. to become chief staff officer of the Screwworm Eradication Section. He served as the Pan-American director of surveillance of exotic diseases of animals in Panama before retiring in 1982. Dr. Williams earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine from Texas A&M College in 1945, and a master’s degree in public health from Tulane University in 1953.
Collection Number: 478
Earliest Date: 1958
Latest Date: 1984
Linear Feet: 0.5
Subjects: Animal Science
Formats: Photographs

Americana Cookbook Collection

The Americana Collection consists of 14 cookbooks from the early to mid 20th century with the following titles: 9th Grand National Cookbook, Baker’s Famous Chocolate Recipes, The Hershey Recipe Book, Blue Ribbon Recipe Book Omar, Pillsbury’s Best 11th Grand National Bake-Off Cookbook, Knudsen Recipes, Pillsbury’s 7th Grand National Cookbook, Pillsbury’s 13th Grand National Bake-Off Cookbook, Waring Blender Cook Book, 1915 Economy Cookbook, Mary Hunt’s Salad Bowl, Pillsbury’s 4th Grand National, 100 Grand National Recipes, and The Silent Hostess Treasure Book.
Collection Number: 479
Earliest Date: 1915
Latest Date: 1961
Linear Feet: 0.5
Subjects: Human Nutrition
Digitization Status: None

Albert Franklin Burgess Moth Manuscript

Collection consists of a two volume manuscript "The Gypsy Moth and the Brown-tail Moth: A History of the Work for Prevention of Spread and Extermination of these Insects in North America" by A.F. Burgess. The text volume is dated 1944 and the photographs and maps volume is dated 1889-1942.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Albert Franklin Burgess (1873-1953) was an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture from 1907 to 1943, first in the Bureau of Entomology then in the U.S. Plant Quarantine and Control Administration and finally in the U.S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. From 1913 to 1928, Burgess was placed in charge of the gypsy moth and brown-tail moth project which was the largest attempt at the time to introduce natural enemies to control an imported pest. In 1928, he was appointed principal entomologist of the U.S. Plant Quarantine and Control Administration. From 1934 until his retirement, he was principal entomologist of the U.S. Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. He was considered the foremost authority in the United States on the gypsy and brown-tail moths, authoring several reports, bulletins, and books.
Collection Number: 480
Earliest Date: 1889
Latest Date: 1944
Bulk Dates: 1944
Linear Feet: 0.5
Subjects: Entomology; Physical Sciences
Formats: Maps; Photographs
Digitization Status: Entire collection digitized

Edward H.and Janet R. Smith Collection on Charles V. Riley

The Edward H. and Janet R. Smith Collection on Charles V. Riley consists of Charles V. Riley biographical information, correspondence (original and photocopied) with an index, and original diaries as well as authors' notes, draft chapters, publications, articles (mostly photocopied), and books used to write the upcoming biography authored by Edward H. and Janet R. Smith.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Edward H. Smith was chair of the Department of Entomology, Cornell University. He and Janet, his wife, wrote a biography on Charles V. Riley which is due to release in spring of 2019.
Collection Number: 481
Earliest Date: 1850
Latest Date: 2007
Linear Feet: 22
Subjects: Entomology
Formats: Maps; Photographs
Digitization Status: None

Jacqueline L. Dupont and Gary R. Beecher Papers

The Jaqueline L. Dupont and Gary R. Beecher Papers consist of research materials that pertain to "History of Human Nutrition Research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service: People, Events, and Accomplishments." The book was edited by Jacqueline L. Dupont and Gary R. Beecher and was published in November 2017. The types of materials include: publications, research notes, slides, and a floppy disc.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Jacqueline L. Dupont was a National Program Leader in Nutrition with the Agricultural Researcher Service (ARS) and is an Adjunct Professor at Florida State University. Gary R. Beecher was a Researcher Chemist and Research Leader with ARS and is now retired.
Collection Number: 482
Earliest Date: 1894
Latest Date: 2008
Bulk Dates: 1970-2008
Linear Feet: 1.25
Subjects: Human Nutrition
Digitization Status: None

Clarence E. Clement Collection

The Clarence E. Clement Collection consists of over 100 photographs and negatives related to the dairy industry from: United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dairy Industry; San Francisco Dairy Company in San Francisco, California; Fitchett Brothers in Poughkeepsie, New York; Trapp Brothers Dairy Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Bowman Dairy Company in Chicago, Illinois; Supplee-Wills-Jones Milk Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Telling-Belle Vernon Company in Cleveland, Ohio; and The Risdon Creamery, Incorporated and The Belle Isle East Side Creamery Company in Detroit, Michigan as well as correspondence from the War Department to Clement dated May-November 1918 regarding a commission in the Quartermaster Corps, United States Army physical examination for appointment form, a draft card from September 1918, and an advertisement from Rice and Adams Corporation.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Clarence E. Clement worked for the United States Department of Agriculture from 1912 to 1942. He was a Market Milk Specialist with the Dairy Division, Bureau of Animal Industry which became the Bureau of Dairy Industry in 1926. Clement studied the problems connected with the milk industry. He authored several publications on milk and milk marketing and coauthored the 1923 textbook "Market Milk."
Collection Number: 483
Collection Group: Dairy Science Collections
Earliest Date: 1901
Latest Date: 1926
Linear Feet: 0.25
Subjects: Animal Science; USDA History
Formats: Photographs
Digitization Status: None

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Collection

The Environmental Chemistry Laboratory Collection consists of photographs and negatives of poultry science and staff, business notes and correspondence, and approximately 30 samples of feather products such as: fabric (the largest measuring 21.5 x 11.5), fabric swatches (the largest measuring 5 x 6), cardboard, and yarn.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
In 1998, Walter F. Schmidt, Chemist; Rolland M. Waters, Chemist; George Gassner III, Research Biologist; Michael J. Line, Senior Engineer; and Clayton G. Thomas, Process Engineer received a patent for a process for extracting fiber from feathers. Examples of potential products are fibers, paper, insulation, etc. They worked in the Agricultural Research Service, Environmental Chemistry Laboratory in Beltsville, MD.
Collection Number: 484
Collection Group: Poultry Science Collections
Earliest Date: 1943
Latest Date: 1999
Bulk Dates: 1998-1999
Linear Feet: 1.25
Subjects: Animal Science; Physical Sciences; Poultry
Formats: Photographs
Digitization Status: None

Ronald Fayer Papers

The Ronald Fayer Collection consists primarily of reprints of over 400 published research papers, book chapters, and abstracts authored or co-authored by Dr. Fayer. Other materials in the collection include copies of patents awarded to Dr. Fayer, news clippings about his research on sarcocystis, and awards. There is also an undated, large format aerial photograph of the Animal Parasite Institute buildings at the Beltsville (Maryland) Agricultural Research Center.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Ronald Fayer (b. 1939) is and internationally recognized expert on the study of microorganisms of medical and veterinary importance. Fayer pioneered in-vitro cultivation of coccidian parasites of domestic animals, and he was first to use these methods for testing anticoccidial drugs. His methods have been adapted and used throughout the world to investigate these and related organisms. Until Fayer, the source of Sarcocystis cysts in human and food-animal muscles was unknown. Fayer elucidated the life cycle of Sarcocystis, a parasitic infection that caused millions of dollars of beef to be condemned every year. He identified previously unknown precystic stages of infection that caused abortion, wasting, poor growth, and death in livestock. As a result, Sarcocystis disease is no longer a serious economic problem. Fayer is also recognized worldwide as a leader in the identification and naming of several new species of Cryptosporidium, a widespread pathogen affecting humans and animals. A preeminent international expert on protozoan pathogens, Fayer has received over 350 invitations to speak at scientific conference and has been invited to many countries to consult on problems involving protozoan pathogens. Honors include the Helminthological Society of Washington's Anniversary Award, Distinguished Veterinary Parasitologist from the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists, the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration Unit Award, and the H.B. Ward Medal from the American Society of Parasitologists. Fayer received the USDA Superior Service award in 1978 and 1997 and USDA's plow award in 2005. He is also a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Senior Professional.
Collection Number: 485
Earliest Date: 1966
Latest Date: 2016
Linear Feet: 5
Subjects: Animal Science
Formats: Audiovisuals; Photographs; Reprints
Digitization Status: None

Friends of Agricultural Research-Beltsville, Inc. Collection

The Friends of Agricultural Research-Beltsville, Inc. (FAR-B) Collection consists of administrative and financial records, membership directories, newsletters, and photographs related to the organization.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
FAR-B is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the research, educational, and outreach programs at the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). Its members include talented and dedicated USDA alumni as well as individuals or groups from academia, industry, government, BARC employees, and the general public.
Collection Number: 486
Earliest Date: 1888
Latest Date: 2018
Linear Feet: 3.5
Subjects: Agricultural Organizations
Digitization Status: None

Eastern Cooperatives, Inc. Collection

The Eastern Cooperatives, Inc. (ECI) Collection consists mostly of newspaper articles written by Shirley Cochran including her column "Take it Easy" which appeared in "The Cooperator." Recipes, presentations, newsletters, photographs, and correspondence are part of the collection as well.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Shirley Cochran (1929- ) was a nutritionist and the head of the ECI testing kitchen from 1951 to 1953. "The Cooperator" was the monthly newspaper for the ECI which was a wholesale association in New Jersey. The collection was donated by Anne Cochran, Shirley's daughter, in 2018.
Collection Number: 487
Earliest Date: 1951
Latest Date: 1953
Linear Feet: 0.25
Subjects: Agricultural History; Human Nutrition
Formats: Photographs
Digitization Status: None

USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service Photograph Collection on Agricultural Cooperatives

The USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) Photograph Collection on Agricultural Cooperatives consists of photographs highlighting historical agricultural cooperatives organized under the following general subject headings: co-op month, cotton, dairy, farm supply, fruits, grains, livestock, miscellaneous, people and places, nuts, transportation, and vegetables.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
RBS is an agency within USDA Rural Development and offers programs to support business development and job training opportunities for rural residents. The collection was compiled and organized by Gene Ingalsbe, information director for the USDA Agricultural Cooperative Service and Patrick Duffey, publications editor. It was donated by Dan Campbell, co-op publications editor for RBS in 2018.
Collection Number: 489
Earliest Date: 1869
Latest Date: 1987
Linear Feet: 15
Subjects: Agricultural History
Formats: Photographs
Digitization Status: None

Karl H. Norris Papers

The Karl H. Norris Papers consist of reports, correspondence, articles (originals and photocopies), reprints, and publications related to his work with near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS).
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Karl H. Norris (1921- ) joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1949 eventually serving as research leader for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Instrumental Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. He developed principles and instruments using the electromagnetic waves spectrum to make rapid, nondestructive measurements for evaluating the quality of agricultural products. Norris developed NIRS as a method for measuring the protein, oil, and moisture content of grain. NIRS has been widely adopted in the world grain marketing system. Norris was awarded the 1978 Alexander von Humboldt Award for outstanding achievement in agricultural research as well as being inducted into the ARS Science Hall of Fame in 1989.
Collection Number: 490
Earliest Date: 1948
Latest Date: 2013
Bulk Dates: 1980-1999
Linear Feet: 7.5
Subjects: Physical Sciences
Formats: Reprints
Digitization Status: None

USDA Chestnut Research Records

The USDA Chestnut Research Records consist of blight surveys; breeding, forest pathology, oak, hybrid, and shipping records; reports; correspondence; photographs; negatives; and lantern slides primarily regarding chestnut trees. Work from Rolla Kent Beattie and Peter Liu is included. Most of the correspondence regards Liu’s work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a plant collector. The collection was donated by Dr. Sandra L. Anagnostakis from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in 2018.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Rolla Kent Beattie (1875-1960) was a forest pathologist for the USDA from 1912-1945. He is notable for his studies of Northwest flora and chestnut blight. He spent three years in Asia for the USDA's Division of Forest Pathology surveying chestnut trees and related plants and gathering seeds to introduce disease-resistant strains to the United States. Peter Liu (b.1900) was an interpreter, guide, and plant collector in China. He assisted Rolla Kent Beattie and Palemon Howard Dorsett on their plant expeditions. Liu was trained by Dorsett and collected plant materials from China for the USDA from 1924 to 1941.
Collection Number: 491
Collection Group: Plant Exploration Collections
Earliest Date: 1894
Latest Date: 1996
Bulk Dates: 1920-1940
Linear Feet: 23.25
Subjects: Plant Exploration; Plant Science
Formats: Photographs
Digitization Status: None