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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 Extension Service (University of Maryland Libraries)

Primary Sources

Amoss, William L., Papers--19th and 20th century. Amoss, as Director of the Department of Farmer's Institutes of the Maryland Agricultural College, organized Farmer's Institutes in each county in Maryland. One of his responsibilities included the creation of the display of Maryland agriculture at the 1903 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Records and Photographs--19th and 20th century. Established in College Park in 1888, the purpose of the experiment station was to use the resources of science to improve the practice and profitability of agriculture. The M. A. E. S. records cover administrative, university, and national activities of the station with the majority of the records documenting departmental research projects.

Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, Records--20th century. This agency was founded in 1914 to improve community life. Among its areas of concentration are: agricultural profitability, natural resources, and agricultural technology for urban audiences. The C. E. S provides off-campus education for many Maryland farmers and supports agricultural research programs through public service publications and reports.

Maryland Extension Home Economics Association, Archives--20th century. The records of the Maryland Extension Homemakers' Council consist of publications, minutes, reports, handbooks, programs, financial records, slides, photographs, and newspaper clippings documenting Council operations as well as the programs and courses offered by the Council. The collection is unprocessed but a preliminary inventory is available.

Maryland Farmer’s Institute, Records--19th and 20th century. Created by Maryland state legislation in 1896, Farmer's Institutes made information on agricultural subjects available to all farmers throughout the state.

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.

Symons, Thomas B., Papers--20th century. Thomas Baddeley Symons (1880-1970), a 1902 graduate of the Maryland Agricultural College, served the University of Maryland for almost seventy-five years. Symons's many offices included state entomologist, dean of the School of Horticulture, director of the Cooperative Extension Service, and dean of the College of Agriculture. He was active in numerous agricultural organizations, including the Maryland Horticultural Society, Maryland State Soil Conservation Committee, and both the National and Maryland State Grange. Symons was acting president of the University of Maryland for nine months in 1954, then a memeber of its Board of Regents from late 1954 until 1970. Subjects covered in the collection include 4-H activities, the Maryland and National Granges, the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland, the Rotary Club, the Beta Kappa Corporation, and the State Soil Conservation Committee.

Vansville Farmers Club, Archives--19th and 20th century. The Vansville Farmers Club was active in the inspection of farm buildings, animals, and crops and in the development of state system of Farmer's Institutes. Subjects covered in the collection include: farm inspection meetings, animal and crop diseases, land and herd improvements, and the application of innovations to agriculture.

White, Richard, Papers--20th century. The papers document the addition of the Ridgely Sub-station to the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station in 1914. Important subjects pertaining to agriculture documented in the collection include wages, farm crops, and harvesting.

Agricultural Extension Service (National Agricultural Library)

Primary Sources

Lloyd, William Allison, Papers. 1912-1945. In 1913, Lloyd (1870-1946) began his career with USDA as an agriculturist in the Office of Farm Management and then continued on to the Office of Extension Work. This three-volume collection of papers and addresses relates to agricultural extension from 1913 to 1940 and includes the pre-Smith-Lever work in the northern and western states. Lloyd addresses the organization of cooperative extension work under the Smith-Lever Act; the development of county agent work in the northern and western states, and the development of the County Farm Bureau as an extension agency. He also discusses the New Deal's national agricultural policies and the Extension Service. Biographical information, as well as a subject index to Lloyd's public papers, resides at end of the third volume.

True, Alfred Charles, Papers. 1847-1929. True (1853-1929) was chief of the Office of Experiment Stations from 1893-1915 and director of the State Relations Service from 1915-1923. His papers include manuscripts, notes, and drafts of works True was engaged in writing, as well as papers and documents accumulated by True for historical research between the years 1900-1929. The materials reflect his interest in agricultural history and relate especially to his trilogy histories on research, education, and extension work.