The collection is maintained primarily by the Agriculture Library.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a land grant institution that has been collecting agricultural titles since 1867. The Agriculture collection supports teaching and research through for the Departments of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Animal Science, Forestry, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology, and the Office of Agricultural Communications and Extension Education, Agricultural Entomology, International Soybean Program, and Vocational Agriculture. The Library also serves the needs of the on-campus and off-campus personnel of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Services. The collection totals 200,000 volumes (70,000 volumes are in Agriculture and 130,000 volumes are in the Bookstacks). 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.
Version Date: July, 2005
I. Collection Description
To support teaching and research through and beyond the doctoral level for the Departments of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy (crops and soils), Animal Sciences (including dairy science), Forestry, Horticulture, and Plant Pathology, and the Office of Agricultural Communications and Extension Education, Agricultural Entomology, International Soybean Program, and Vocational Agriculture. The Library also serves the needs of the on-campus and off-campus personnel of the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Services. Although the College of Agriculture’s School of Human Resources and Family Studies, the Food Science Department, Nutritional Sciences Division, and Home Economics Education are served primarily by the Home Economics Library, the Agriculture Library meets some of the needs of these units as well. Agriculturally related teaching and research are carried out also in Applied Life Studies, Biology, Chemistry, City Planning and Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Communications, Ecology, Engineering, Geology, History, Law, Natural History Survey, and Veterinary Medicine.
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 Library began. In the spring of 1924, the Agriculture Library moved to its present location in Mumford Hall. During the following years, the Library absorbed the holdings of several office collections, most notably Animal Genetics, Floriculture, Forestry, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, and Vo-Ag Services.
Estimate of Holdings
200,000 volumes. Of this total, 70,000 volumes are in Agriculture and 130,000 volumes are in the 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 via the depository library system (the University of Illinois benefits from two federal depository designations), by exchanges, and by extensive purchases.
Unit Responsible for Collecting
Most of the selection of agriculture literature originates in the Agriculture Library. There are collection activities in the libraries that support the disciplines listed in the purpose statement.
Location of Materials
The majority of the agriculture collection is held in the Agriculture Library and in the Bookstacks. Related materials are also held in the Applied Life Studies, Biology, Chemistry, City Planning and Landscape Architecture, Commerce, Communications, Documents, Education and Social Science, Engineering, Geological Survey, Geology, History, Home Economics, Labor and Industrial Relations, Law, Map and Geography, Mathematics, Natural History Survey, Newspaper, Physics, Rare Book, Undergraduate, University Archives, Veterinary Medicine, and Water Survey Libraries.
Citations of Works Describing the Collection
Downs, 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, pp. 39, 81, 152, 177.
II. General Collection Guidelines
No restrictions. Strong interest in history of agriculture.
Treatment of Subject
The primary focus is on current materials, although some retrospective collection evaluation is being planned with emeritus faculty of the College. Serials are becoming increasingly important and expensive. United States Department of Agriculture and state experiment station and extension publications that formerly were free now must be purchased. Thus fewer and fewer extension publications are being acquired from the states (except Illinois).
Materials are purchased for undergraduate and graduate teaching, for practicing farmers and agribusinesses, and for applied and theoretical research. The growth of the College to include theoretical as well as applied research is reflected in the increasing requests for interdisciplinary materials in areas such as biotechnology, engineering, environment, rural sociology, biology, mathematics, statistics, physics, and chemistry. These materials are purchased at the request of individual faculty members or students if other copies are not available to meet their needs.
Types of Materials
Standard statement. Audio-visual materials are not purchased by the Agriculture Library; the Office of Agricultural Communications and Extension Education provides this type of material and the equipment necessary for its use.
Although funds are not presently available for collecting materials in computer-readable formats, some collecting has been done and will increase as soon as funds are available. The following collection policies will guide the Agriculture Library
- Materials of use to researchers, teachers, and practitioners will be collected. Computer Assisted Instruction materials that are available on PLATO have been and will continue to be “collected” into an Agriculture menu that appears on all Agriculture Library PLATO terminals (this permits use without special sign-ons). Cataloging these materials seems logical but is difficult because the authors frequently change the programs or even withdraw them. No other CAl materials will be collected.Representative agricultural decision analysis software programs and generic software that assists in the control and manipulation of information (bibliographic file managers, shell expert systems, gateways to online databases, spread sheets, communications packages, word processing and indexing packages) will be collected.Data files of full text and numeric data will be collected if it is documented and organized (i.e., “nonpublished” raw data will not be collected). Data and text available in hardcopy will be duplicated in electronic format if there is any advantage gained (e.g., ability to manipulate the data).Major online databases available through the vendors BRS and DIALOG are already being “collected” by the Agriculture Library. Selection of remote databases not available from these vendors (e.g., the AGNET database maintained by the Nebraska Extension Service) is desirable (see article by Maria Porta for a beginning list of these databases).
- As much as possible, these materials will be integrated with materials in other formats, i.e., be cataloged, classified, and loaned (electronic versions loaned for onsite use only, hardcopy documentation loaned overnight).
- Only software and data tapes compatible with existing University hardware will be collected. In lieu of purchasing data tapes, the Library could serve as a Clearing House for data tapes purchased on any University funds. (This might best be accomplished by a single University Library office with a mandate from the Campus.)
Date of Publication
Place of Publication
III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments
Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.
|SUBJECT SUBDIVISION||EXISTING STRENGTH||PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS||SECONDARY ASSIGNMENTS|
|AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY||2||Agriculture||Biology / Chemistry / Engineering / Physics|
|AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS – Agricultural law||2||Law||Agriculture / Documents|
|Agricultural policy||3||Agriculture||Documents / Newspaper|
|Agricultural prices and statistics U.S.||3||Agriculture||Commerce / Documents / Newspapers / Reference|
|Foreign countries||2||Agriculture||Commerce / Latin American / Reference / Slavic|
|Commodities and futures||3||Commerce||Agriculture|
|Developing nations||2||Agriculture||Africa / Commerce / Latin American / Women’s Studies|
|Rural real estate appraisal||3||Commerce||Agriculture|
|AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION||3||Agriculture / Education / University Archives|
|AGRICULTURAL HISTORY||3||Agriculture||History / Slavic|
|AGRICULTURE United States||3||Agriculture||Documents / Undergraduate|
|Africa||2||Agriculture||Africa / Women’s Studies|
|Latin America||2||Agriculture||Latin American / Women’s Studies|
|Soil science||3||Agriculture||Architecture / Engineering/Geology|
|Animal genetics and physiology||3||Agriculture||Biology|
|Animal nutrition||3||Agriculture||Veterinary Medicine|
|Dairy technology||3||Agriculture||Home Economics|
|Meat technology||3||Agriculture||Home Economics|
|Pet therapy||Veterinary Medicine||Applied Life|
|AQUACULTURE||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture|
|BIOMETRY||2||Agriculture / Biology / Mathematics-Statistics|
|BOTANY||4||Biology||Agriculture / Natural History Survey|
|ENTOMOLOGY Control, integrated pest management-see also pesticides||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture / Biology|
|Economic entomology||4||Natural History Survey||Agriculture / Biology|
|Insect physiology and toxicology||3||Biology||Agriculture / Natural History Survey|
|FOODS AND NUTRITION||3||Home Economics||Agriculture|
|Food chemistry||3||Home Economics||Agriculture / Chemistry|
|Food technology||3||Home Economics||Agriculture / Engineering|
|Ecology||2||Agriculture||Biology / Natural History Survey|
|Ornamental horticulture and landscape design||2||Agriculture||City Planning|
|PESTICIDES (herbicides and insecticides)||3||Agriculture||Biology / Chemistry / Natural History Survey|
|Mycology||3||Agriculture||Biology / Natural History Survey|
|Nematology||3||Agriculture / Biology|
|Virology||3||Biology||Agriculture / Natural History Survey|
|RURAL SOCIOLOGY||4||Sociology||Agriculture / Slavic|
|TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY||3||Education||Agriculture|
Revision Date: November 2005