Skip to Main Content

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

UM College of Agriculture History (University of Maryland Libraries)

Primary Sources

Agricultural and Resources 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.

Agriculture, College of, Records--20th century. The teaching of agriculture at the University of Maryland began with the opening of the Maryland Agricultural College in 1859. Agriculture remained a primary element of the curriculum when the Maryland General Assembly created the University of Maryland in 1920 by merging the campuses in Baltimore and College Park. The new University of Maryland in College Park was originally divided into thirteen educational units, including the College of Agriculture. The records of the college primarily document the tenure of Gordon M. Cairns as dean and consist of correspondence, reports, committee information, appointment books, budget files, financial ledger books, and photographs.

Animal Science, Department, Records--20th century. The records include correspondence, reports, publications, and budget reports of the Department of Animal Science. This collection is unprocessed.

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.

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.

Entomology, Department, Records--19th and 20th century. The department dates back to the founding of Maryland Agricultural College in 1856. The first courses in entomology were taught by Townend Glover, the first entomologist of the United States. Topics included in the department's records are: crop protection, nursery and orchard inspections, quarantines, the European corn borer, Japanese beetles, and mosquito control.

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.

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.

Maryland Agricultural College Photographs.

Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Records--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 4-H Center, Records--20th century. The Maryland 4-H Center's programs for youth and families are affiliated with the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and the University of Maryland. The records document the history of Maryland 4-H and its activities such as camping, fair displays, competitions, and judging of horticulture, dairy, and livestock projects. Materials include reports, correspondence, legal and financial records, publications, and photographs. This collection is unprocessed, but a preliminary inventory is available.

Maryland State Board of Agriculture--20th century. The Board was founded in 1916 as an authority to enforce the laws of the state of Maryland relating to agriculture. It was responsible for supervising the production and distribution of agricultural products with particular attention to sanitation. Some concerns of the Board were: the use of fertilizers and chemicals, seed control, the elimination of animal and plant diseases, soil preservation, and insect control.

Phi Mu, University of Maryland at College Park Chapter, Records--20th century. Initiates to this engineering honor society were required to prepare a research paper on an engineering topic of their choice. Among the papers are a number which focus on various aspects of agriculture, such as the construction of aqueducts, beekeeping and entomology, wool, and the history of land acquisition.

Poultry Science, Department, Records--20th century. The Department of Poultry Science was founded in 1906 through the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. The undergraduate program in Poultry Husbandry began in 1923; the first graduate degrees were awarded in 1940. In 1965, the poultry science curriculum became a course of study within the Department of Animal Science. The records include administrative files, Experiment Station reports, correspondence, research notebooks, photographs, and publications of the department. This collection is unprocessed, but a preliminary inventory is available.