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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 1 - 2 of 2 Collections

Cornelius Lott Shear Papers

The Cornelius Lott Shear Certificates were presented to botanist and plant pathologist Shear, who traveled to foreign countries to research agriculture. Many of the certificates serve as introduction letters or statements of purpose. An addition of two reprinted articles about Shear and a few personal photographs was made to the collection in 2011.
Historical or Biographical Sketch
Cornelius Lott Shear (1865-1956), an internationally-renowned mycologist and plant pathologist, began his 40-year career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1895. Much of Shear’s work took him all over the world and involved grapes, other small fruit, and fruit and plant diseases. In 1935 Shear retired as the principal pathologist for the Bureau of Plant Industry. Shear served in administrative positions for many organizations, including the American Phytopathological Society, the Botany Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He also held editorial positions for the journals Mycologia and Phytopathology.
Collection Number: 299
Earliest Date: 1888
Latest Date: 2000
Linear Feet: 3.75
Subjects: Plant Science; USDA History
Digitization Status: None

U.S. National Fungus Collections Topical Files

The U.S. National Fungus Collections Topical Files contain historical records assembled largely by John A. Stevenson during his 33 years of service (1927-1960) as director of the U.S. National Fungus Collections. These materials reflect the history of American mycology and plant pathology and the relationship to the development of the U.S. National Fungus Collections in the 19th-20th century. These files include correspondence; biographical information; unpublished manuscripts; information on scientific meetings, other herbaria, associations and societies, mycological and phytopathological data, photographs, and field and laboratory records. Many American mycologists and plant pathologists are represented, including: L. von Schweinitz, H. Ravenel, C.H. Peck, P. Spaulding, J.B. Ellis, C.L. Shear, L.C.C. Krieger, G.L. Zundel, George Washington Carver, E.E. Morse, R.K. Beattie, W.H. Long, E.K. Cash, A.G. Johnson, and A.E. Jenkins. Specific subject areas represented include: botanical nomenclature, barberry eradication, chestnut blight disease, Wollenweber's Fusarium studies, International Botanical Congresses, historical studies of the United States Department of Agriculture as well as correspondence and reports of the National Fungus Collections.
Collection Number: 454
Earliest Date: 1850
Latest Date: 1977
Linear Feet: 108.75
Subjects: Plant Science; USDA History
Digitization Status: None