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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

Plant Science and Pathology (University of Maryland Libraries)

Primary Sources

Bamford, Ronald, Papers--20th century. Bamford was professor and chair of the Department of Botany at the University of Maryland at College Park. He also served as Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture from 1949 to 1950 and as Dean of the Graduate School from 1950 to 1966.

Botany, Department, Records--19th and 20th century. The department dates back to the founding of Maryland Agricultural College in 1856. Topics of concern to the department include: tulip pollinations and fixations, gladiolus fixations, the growing of tomatoes, and administrative issues.

Brown, David Edward, Papers--20th century. Brown began his career in agriculture as a special field agent for the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In his 43 years of service, Brown specialized in improving the breeding and culture of tobacco.

Horticulture, Department, Records--19th and 20th century. The Department of Horticulture was formally established in 1863 to provide classroom instruction, empirical fieldwork, and research opportunities in horticulture for students and faculty at the Maryland Agricultural College and at the University of Maryland, as well as to provide extension service for the residents of the state of Maryland. The collection consists of the administrative, research, and teaching records of the department.

Hyattsville Horticultural Society, Archives--20th century. The Society, one of the oldest garden clubs in America, was founded by H. M. Connelly, V. K. Chestnut, W. B. Ballard, and J. B. S. Norton during the winter of 1916-1917. The Society was involved in a number of activities in the surrounding community, including garden competitions, exhibitions, shows, children's competitions, and social events.

Norton, J. B. S., Papers--19th and 20th century. Norton was appointed State Plant Pathologist for Maryland and served as a professor of botany and plant pathology at the Maryland Agricultural College.

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.

Reveal, James L., Papers--20th century. Reveal was a professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Maryland from 1969 to 1999. Reveal served as director of the Norton-Brown Herbarium of the University of Maryland between 1979 and 1999. He was a member of the Smithsonian Institution's Endangered Species Committee from 1974 to 1982.

Shoemaker, Mark M., Papers--20th century. Shoemaker was a professor of horticulture at the University of Maryland, a campus planner, and a landscape designer. Shoemaker's papers document his landscape design work for the university and various agencies of the United States government. The collection also includes some of the personal papers of A. S. Thurston, who was the university's landscape designer before Shoemaker.

Street, Orman E., Papers--20th century. Street was a professor of agronomy at the University of Maryland from 1949 to 1969. Professor Street taught courses in tobacco production, tobacco anatomy, and tobacco chemistry and received numerous awards and honors for his work in this field. His papers include publications, biographical material, photographs, and reports and administrative records of the Agronomy Department. Subjects include the history of the Agronomy Department, tobacco, tobacco curing, and information on the Maryland Tobacco Extension Station in Upper Marlboro. The collection is unprocessed.

Plant Pathology
Woods, Albert and Bertha, Papers--19th and 20th century. As assistant pathologist in the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, Albert Woods did pioneer work in virus research. He also served as president of the University of Maryland and as an assistant secretary of the U. S. D. A.

Plant Science and Pathology (National Agricultural Library)

Primary Sources

Dorsett, Palemon Howard, Photograph Collection. 1929-1931. In 1929, Dorsett (1862-1943), veteran plant explorer for the USDA Section of Plant Introduction, and William Joseph Morse, soybean specialist from the USDA Office of Forage Crops, embarked upon a plant exploration trip officially known as the Oriental Agricultural Exploration Expedition. Initiated in response to the growing importance of the soybean as a food crop, the primary purpose was to collect soybean germplasm, and also seeds and propagating materials for other crops. The photograph collection consists of seven photograph albums of the 1929-1931 expedition illustrating plant varieties and uses, landscapes, and Asian cultural practices.

Galloway, Beverly Thomas, Papers. 1891-1933. Dr. Galloway (1863-1938) was appointed as plant pathologist in 1887 for the USDA. The following year he became chief of the Division of Vegetable Physiology and Pathology. In 1900, he became chief of the Division of Gardens and Grounds, was the leader in planning the consolidation of several divisions into what soon became the Bureau of Plant Industry, and moved into position of chief of this new bureau. For two years (1913-1914), he served as assistant secretary of agriculture and later returned to research work, particularly investigations of the pathological aspects. His papers consist of biographical information, correspondence, speeches, memoranda, notebooks, photographs, scrapbooks, and published and unpublished articles.

Marth, Paul C. and Mitchell, John W., Papers. 1933-1993. In 1944, Marth (b. 1909) and Mitchell (b. 1905) developed a plant growth regulator for use as a selective herbicide. 2,4-D allowed for selective broadleaf weed control in agriculture and turf management. Together, Marth and Mitchell wrote articles. The papers include biographical information about both men, material gathered for the book Classic Papers in Horticultural Science, 66 of Marth's notebooks, Marth's 1942 Ph.D. thesis, reprints, and negatives of roses. There is correspondence mostly with Marth, very little Mitchell correspondence, and correspondence between J. Ray Frank and Stephen Weller regarding the two men in 1987.

McFarland, J. Horace, Papers. 1923-1975. McFarland (1859-1948), conservationist, master printer, and horticulturist, was well known for his books and photographs of roses. In 1878, McFarland started his own printing business, Mount Pleasant Press, which specialized in horticultural printing and was the first to use color photographs in its publications. In fact, many images were taken at McFarland's famous trial gardens which were located on the grounds of his residence, Breeze Hill. The materials relate to Mount Pleasant Press; the majority of the collection includes glass negatives, acetate negatives, transparencies, slides, and watercolors of plants. There are plant breeding records which include rose cards or letter-sized forms consisting of a black and white photograph of a variety of a rose and accompanying scientific documentation. Also included are original artwork, catalogs produced by the company, photographs of the office, and a map of McFarland's residence.

Plitt, Charles C. (1869-1903), Papers. 1897-1994. A lifelong Marylander, Plitt (1869-1933) was both a professor of botany and an international authority on lichens. In 1891, he received a degree in pharmacy from the old Maryland College of Pharmacy. In 1920, he was appointed full professor of botany and pharmacognosy at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Maryland. In 1921, Plitt was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science for his meritorious work in botany by the International Academy of Sciences. At the heart of this collection is a series of journals resulting from weekly botany field trips, which Dr. Plitt referred to as "Tramps," ranging in date from about 1898 to 1922. Plitt led these tramps through many areas around Baltimore; such as, Loch Raven, Glen Burnie, Towson, Curtis Bay, and Ellicott City. The collection also includes biographical data, correspondence, photographs, and a book.

Prestele, Wilhelm Heinrich (William Henry), Papers. 1889-1890. In 1887, Prestele (1838-1895) was appointed the first artist of the Pomology Division of the USDA. He was given the assignment of creating illustrations for a book on native American grapes written by T. V. Munson. Although Prestele's illustrations were not used for the book, his papers consist of the grape variety watercolors, sketches, tracings, notes, and papers, plant specimens, and an album cover for the book.

Smith, Erwin Frink, Papers. 1880-1930. Chief of Plant Pathology in the Bureau of Plant Industry, USDA, for almost four decades, from 1889-1927, Smith (1854-1927) is recognized as the Father of Bacterial Plant Pathology. Author of more than 240 articles, he was elected president of the Society of Cancer Research in 1924. His papers contain his notes, writings, letters, and publications. Notable writings include his first paper on bacteria as a plant pathogen, his first paper on the fungus infestation of soils, material on the Fischer-Smith polemic, the results of his studies on crown gall in plants and its relation to cancer in animals, and his Bibliography of Peach Yellows.