Core Historical Literature of Agriculture

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is the name of both a digital preservation project and the resulting digital library which began at Cornell University's Albert R. Mann Library in 1994. It is notable as an early digital library and, unlike later book digitization projects by Google and Microsoft, where the focus is mainly on the wholesale scanning of massive numbers of titles, its collection follows a scholarly selection methodology with a specific subject focus (primarily agriculture). Although CHLA is a much smaller collection than that of Google Books Library Project, for example, all of its titles are considered academically and historically important, and all texts in CHLA are freely accessible.

The CHLA project scans books and journals which are considered landmark titles in the history of agriculture that were originally published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Most of the titles in the collection were published in the era when acidic paper was used for printing; over time such paper becomes brittle, yellows and begins to disintegrate with age.[1]

Mann has established a similar collection known as The Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH) that focuses on the historical literature of home economics and human ecology.


In 1988, Wallace Olsen began the Core Literature Project at Mann Library. With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Olsen assembled groups of scholars at Cornell University and across the US to determine what the core books and journals in the broad range of subjects relating to agriculture were, both current and historical. These teams of scholars gathered to evaluate texts in their respective fields of specialization, ranking works based on a range of criteria that relied heavily on citation analysis. By the end of their research, Olsen's teams of scholars produced enough research to fill what became a seven volume series titled The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, published between 1991 and 1996.[2]

In accordance with 1993's National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature, digitized materials were initially made available on compact disk and microfilm.[3] The materials were later made accessible on the World Wide Web in August 1997. Titles cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science, forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science.[4]

Select Readings from the Collection[edit]

All titles are full-text.

Agricultural history. Agricultural History Society, Fargo, N.D. : (1927–1965)

Agricultural price control. Shepherd, Geoffrey Seddon. Collegiate Press, Ames, Iowa : 1945.

Agricultural reform in the United States Black. John D. McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York : 1929.

Apple growing. Burritt, M. C. Outing Publishing Company, New York : 1912.

Beekeeping. Phillips, Everett Franklin. [1915?]

Hunziker, O. F. (1920). The Butter Industry, Prepared for Factory, School and Laboratory. LaGrange, IL: author.  1st Ed. (LaGrange, IL: author, 1920)

Canning and how to use canned foods. Bitting, A. W. National Canners Association, Washington, D.C. : [c1916]

The cattle-breeder's handbook. Watson, James A. S. Ernest Benn Ltd., London : 1926.

The climates of the United States. Ward, Robert DeCourcy. Ginn and Company, Boston ; [c1925]

Hunziker, O. F. (1914). Condensed milk and milk powder: prepared for the use of milk condenseries, dairy students and pure food departments. LaGrange, IL: author. ISBN 1-4067-8266-1.  1st Ed. (LaGrange, IL: author, 1914), 2nd Ed. (LaGrange, IL: author, 1918), 3rd Ed. (LaGrange, IL: author, 1920), alternative 3rd Ed

Dairy farming Eckles, Clarence Henry. Macmillan New York : [c1916]

Farm machinery Culpin, Claude. C. Lockwood & Son, Ltd, London : 1938.

Farm management. Boss, Andrew. Lyons & Carnahan, Chicago ; [c1914]

The first book of farming. Goodrich, C. L. Doubleday, Page & Co., New York : 1905.

Ferguson, John Arden. Farm forestry. J. Wiley & Sons, New York : 1916.

Horses, cattle, sheep and swine; origin, history, improvement, description, ... Curtis, George W. [s.n.], College Station, Tex.: [c1888]

Green, Samuel B. Vegetable gardening; a manual on the growing of vegetables for home use... Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul : 1896.

The grapes of New York. Hedrick, U. P. J.B. Lyon Company, Albany : 1908.

Irrigation farming; a handbook for the practical application of water ... Wilcox, Lucius Merle. Orange Judd Co., New York : [c1895]

The A B C of strawberry culture, for farmers, village people, and small growers; a book for beginners. Terry, T. B. A. I. Root Co., Medina, Ohio : 1902.


  1. ^ Cook, M.; Paulson, J. (2005). "Enabling Access to Classic titles in Agriculture with the Core Historical Literature of Agriculture". Quarterly Bulletin of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD). 50 (3/4): 82–85. 
  2. ^ Olsen, Wallace C. (1991–96). The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. 
  3. ^ Gwinn, Nancy (1993). "A National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature" (PDF). Beltsville, MD: United States Agricultural Information Network: 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-28. 
  4. ^ "Mann Library web site features full texts of rare agricultural books". The Cornell Chronicle. Cornell University. 2001-02-01. p. 5.