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Agriculture in Maryland: Resources in Special Collections

This guide will recommend rich primary and secondary sources useful to scholars who wish to explore this history in more detail and navigate the rich resources available to study the history of agriculture in Maryland, from early farming activities, to th

Agricultural Economics (University of Maryland Libraries)

Primary Sources

Agricultural and Resource Economics, Department, Records--20th century. Established at the University of Maryland at College Park in 1922, the main objective of the department was to provide its students with decision-making abilities in the allocation and use of agricultural and natural resources. The records cover curricula and student enrollment in the department.

Colt and Donaldson Archives--19th century. The collection contains the correspondence and financial records of the mercantile firm Colt and Donaldson which provided Baltimore and Philadelphia with agricultural and other general merchandise. The firm was involved in supplying grain, meat, dairy, and other farm products and by-products. Included in their inventories were grains and seed, such as wheat, oats, barley, corn, and clover.

Maryland State Board of Agriculture Report of Leaf Tobacco Sold--20th century. This report documents the price, quantity, wholesaler, and dates of tobacco sales in the state of Maryland in the years 1929-1961.

Maryland Tobacco Improvement Foundation, Archives--20th century. This organization was established to improve the quality of Maryland leaf tobacco and encouraged better sales and greater export of the crop.

Patterson, Harry J., Papers--19th and 20th century. Patterson gave fifty years of service to the University of Maryland at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. His main area of interest was chemistry's relation to agriculture. Through his research, new varieties of tobacco and strawberries were developed and he was instrumental in raising awareness throughout the state of the value of research work in agriculture for the improvement of the state's economy and its tax base. Patterson also served as president of the University of Maryland from 1913 to 1917.

Prince George’s County Community Council, Archives--20th century. This federation of community organizations concentrated on solving local problems in many areas, including agriculture. Of particular interest to the group was finding solutions to problems encountered by tobacco growers.

Wood, William W. W., Papers--19th century. Wood served in the U. S. Navy for thirty-five years. He was the owner of "Jutland", a farm in St. Mary's County, Maryland. In his letters to his overseer, A. L. Taveau, he expresses a desire to conduct fertilizer experiments utilizing oyster shells and "blue sand" found on his property. Wood also investigated the possibility of growing sugar cane and producing sugar for profit.

Secondary Sources

University of Maryland Libraries, Agriculture guide

Agricultural Economics (National Agricultural Library)

Primary Sources

Olsen, Nils Andreas, Collection. 1855-1936. Olsen (b. 1886) was chief of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics from 1928-1935. His collection consists of journals, ledgers, and other account books of the Evans Hardware Company, Princeton, Minnesota, covering functions prior to 1920; records of Alfred Erickson, Washington County, Minnesota; minutes, payroll book, cash books, and other records of the Golden Valley Creamery Association and its member groups, a cooperative functioning from 1908 to 1910; some 19th century military post records; and other miscellaneous material.

Prince Family Manuscript Collection. 1779-1914 (bulk 1779-1861). This material is concerned with the most productive and innovative years of the Prince nurseries which were based in Flushing, Long Island, New York. During these years, the nursery was owned and operated by William Prince, Jr., and William Prince, his son. Their Linnaean Gardens developed into experimental grounds for cultivating native American species and for testing European and Asian species. The correspondence, account books, notebooks, and journals provide an insight into the difficulties of maintaining a large nursery in the early years of the new American nation. Much of the material concerns business dealings between members of the Prince family and those transacting business with them. The remaining portion of the material deals with observations on and experiments with plants.

Stine, O. C., Papers. 1921-1957. As the head of the Division of Statistical and Historical Research of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics in the 1920s, Stine (1884-1974) retained papers on all aspects of wheat. There are handwritten and typed notes on wheat history, colonial wheat culture, wheat exports and imports, insects and diseases, business and wheat crops, acreage, consumption, demand, and foreign markets. Additionally, there are publications by Stine and a manuscript of his autobiography, "Reminiscences of O. C. Stine."

Secondary Sources

Agricultural Trade and Marketing Resources