Version Date: 2021
I. Collection Description
To support teaching and research through and beyond the doctoral level for programs in the College of ACES and serve the needs of the on-campus and off-campus personnel of Illinois’ Agricultural Experiment Station and Illinois Extension. The collection also supports teaching and research in related fields, such as biology, chemistry, engineering, landscape architecture, natural history, social sciences, and veterinary medicine. As a land-grant institution, the collection helps supports agricultural research and work throughout the state of Illinois.
History of Collection
The Agriculture Library began in 1912 following a study by a faculty committee appointed to investigate the feasibility of establishing an Agriculture Library. Student assistants were in charge of the collection which at first consisted of current agriculture periodicals, experiment station publications, and a few farm papers. In the spring of 1914, several thousand volumes on agriculture were transferred from the Main Library and were combined with the library books scattered among the departments of the College to form the Agriculture collection. In 1915, a professional librarian was appointed, and the real development and growth of the agriculture collection began. In the spring of 1924, the Agriculture Library moved into Mumford Hall. In the years that followed, the Library absorbed the holdings of several office collections, most notably Animal Genetics, Floriculture, Forestry, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, and Vo-Ag Services.
Based on the last Home Economics Collection Statement, the bulk of the Food Science collection was located in the Agriculture Library until 1974, when the Home Economics Library assumed total responsibility for collecting in Food Science. Per records in the University Archives, the Home Economics Library closed in 1996, and that collection was folded into the Agriculture collection.
Currently, the primary home for the Agriculture collection is Funk Library, which opened in 2001 in the then new ACES (Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences) Library, Information and Alumni Center building. Since then, other life sciences and related libraries closed or downsized (i.e., City Planning and Landscape Architecture in 2008, Biology in 2011, Prairie Research Institute in 2015, and Veterinary Medicine in 2016), and portions of those collections were integrated into Funk Library. As a result, the Agriculture collection is now major component of a larger life sciences collection on campus. In 2021, several hundred cookbooks from the Undergraduate Library were transferred to the Agriculture collection in Funk Library as the Library prepared to move Undergraduate Library services into the Main Library. These cookbooks had Library of Congress (LC) classification, and as part of accepting these items, Funk Library decided to switch all new acquisitions to LC, effective January 2021.
Estimate of Holdings
It is a challenge to obtain an accurate and complete estimate of holdings in the agriculture collection given the volumes are a mix of print and electronic and split between the Funk ACES Library, the Main Stacks, and the Oak Street Facility. In 2020, the agriculture collection held around 385 print and electronic journal and database subscriptions, including some subscription packages with multiple titles. An early 2000s version of the collection statement reported the collection held about 200,000 volumes, with 70,000 volumes in the Agriculture Library and 130,000 volumes in the Main Library Bookstacks.
State, Regional and National Importance
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a land-grant institution that has been collecting agricultural titles since 1867. Several private agricultural collections have been given to the University over the years. Most noteworthy are a nearly complete set of USDA publications given by Samuel Insull in 1919 and a personal collection given by the former Dean of Agriculture, Henry Perly Rusk. Today the University of Illinois continues these collections by extensive purchases with state, endowment, and gift funds.
Responsibility for Collecting
The Agriculture Librarian is ultimately responsible for the Agriculture collection, but other librarians who serve as liaisons to College of ACES departments are encouraged to participate and collaborate in developing the collection.
Location of Materials
A substantial and growing proportion of the collection is available online. Current and highly used print materials are housed in the Funk ACES Library. Other parts of the collection are held in the Main Library Stacks and the Oak Street Facility. Relevant materials are also held by other libraries, including the Grainger Engineering Library; Map Library; Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library; and Veterinary Medicine Library.
Citations of Works Describing the Collection
Downs, Robert B. (ed.). Guide to Illinois Library Resources. Chicago: American Library Association. 1974. pp. 5-6.
Kaniki, Andrew Musonda: “Evaluation of the University of Illinois Agriculture Library Collection in the Field of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture.” May 1, 1981. (Unpub.)
Major, Jean A. Collections Acquired by the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign, 1897-1974. University of Illinois Library and Graduate School of Library Science. 1974. pp. 39, 81, 152, 177.
Endowments and Gift Funds that Support this Collection
Agricultural & Home Economics 1941 endowment
Freytag Library endowment
ACES Library gift funds
II. General Collection Guidelines
English is the dominant language of the collection, but appropriate materials are collected in all languages.
No restrictions. Strong interest in history of agriculture.
Worldwide scope. Special emphasis is placed on Illinois and the Midwest.
Electronic Resources Guidelines
In many cases, electronic formats are preferred over print except in those cases where the practical utility of the electronic format is inferior to print. For eBooks, the terms of acquisition should be DRM-free and should allow for ownership and multiple simultaneous user access. Given the importance of the agriculture collection in the state, the ability to share print books within the Illinois consortium or via Interlibrary Loan is also a consideration. For bibliographic databases, journals, magazines, and datasets, online access is strongly preferred but only if online access is through campus IP addresses or campus authentication; resource-specific logins and passwords are generally not accommodated. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the librarian.
Treatment of Subject
The primary focus is on current materials that fall within the collection scope listed below. Materials are purchased for undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning, for applied and theoretical research, and to a lesser extent for practicing farmers and agribusinesses.
Types of Materials
Appropriate primary and secondary works, and bibliographic and reference materials are acquired. Subscriptions are maintained to disciplinary bibliographic databases and to relevant journals and magazines. Datasets are collected selectively, and audio-visual materials are collected infrequently.
Date of Publication
Current materials are emphasized, but retrospective works are acquired on a selective basis. New and revised editions or important works are purchased when new explanatory or primary material is introduced.
Place of Publication
III. Collection Scope by Subject Classification (Dewey & Library of Congress)
Since the Agriculture collection is split between Dewey and Library of Congress (LC) classifications, the collection scope is provided for both. These classification and specific foci guide selection with the agriculture funds. The Agriculture Librarian collaborates closely with librarians for related disciplines to ensure researcher needs are met.
|330||Economics||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|333||Economics of land & energy||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|337||International economics||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|338||Production||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|363.7||Other social problems & services: Environmental problems|
|363.8||Other social problems & services: Food supply|
|394.1||General customs: Eating, drinking; using drugs|
|612||Human physiology||Selective; focus on food science and human nutrition|
|613||Personal health & safety||Selective; focus on food science and human nutrition|
|616||Diseases||Selective; focus on food science and human nutrition|
|628||Sanitary & municipal engineering|
|630||Agriculture & related technologies|
|631||Techniques, equipment & materials|
|632||Plant injuries, diseases & pests|
|633||Field & plantation crops|
|634||Orchards, fruits & forestry|
|635||Garden crops (Horticulture)|
|637||Processing dairy & related products|
|639||Hunting, fishing & conservation|
|640||Home & family management|
|641||Food & drink|
|642||Meals & table service|
|643||Housing & household equipment||Selective|
|646||Sewing, clothing & personal living||Selective|
|674||Lumber processing, wood products & cork||Selective|
|687||Clothing & accessories||Selective|
|700s||Arts & Recreation|
|712||Landscape architecture||Selective; focus on horticulture|
|713||Landscape architecture of trafficways||Selective; focus on horticulture|
|715||Woody plants||Selective; focus on horticulture|
|716||Herbaceous plants||Selective; focus on horticulture|
|799||Fishing, hunting & shooting||Selective|
|G||Geography. Anthropology. Recreation.|
|GT||Manners and customs||Selective|
|GT2400-3390.5||Customs relative to private life, including eating and drinking||Selective|
|HC||Economic history and conditions||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|HD||Industries. Land Use. Labor.||Selective|
|HD9502-9502.5||Energy industries. Energy policy. Fuel trade.||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|HF||Commerce||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|HM831-901||Social change||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|QH||Natural history – Biology||Selective|
|QH540-549.5||Ecology||Selective; focus on agriculture and sustainability|
|QP||Physiology||Selective; focus on agriculture|
|RM214-258||Diet therapy. Dietary cookbooks.|
|SH||Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling.||Selective|
|TD||Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering.||Selective|
|TP368-456||Food processing and manufacture|
|TP500-660||Fermentation industries. Beverages. Alcohol.|
|TX341-641||Nutrition. Foods and food supply.|