Personal Search Help

The ACDC is able to help students, researchers, teachers, journalists, communicators, and others interested in communications related to agriculture and food, feed, fiber, energy, rural improvement, and other dimensions of it. We can help you in a variety of ways, whether you are located at the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois or anywhere around the world.

Remember that we specialize in agricultural communications. Every document in the ACDC collection contains both dimensions: communications and agriculture.

Below you will find suggestions for how we can help you get started with your work, regardless of your role:



Assignments, papers, presentations, projects, original research: the ACDC can help you with any of these, and more.

If you’re looking for documents, and have a good idea of where to start your research, we suggest you begin by looking through the ACDC search term guide to help find the terms preferred by our online catalog. Your search will yield better, more relevant results this way. For tips on how to effectively use our document search feature, please visit our useful tips page.

If you’re not sure where to begin, feel free to email the Center and invite help. If you are based on or near the University of Illinois campus, we can make an appointment to meet in person. Our hours are listed in the right sidebar of the ACDC home page and are updated every semester. For those located elsewhere, we can provide reference help via email and over the phone. Feel free to contact us with any questions. We’re happy to help you in whatever way you need.

Graduate Students

The ACDC collection is full of primary and secondary sources on agricultural communications. We have the resources to help you with your original research. By using the ACDC search term guide , you can begin your search by finding keyword terms that are relevant to your area of inquiry. You can then search by keyword in our online catalog search, BibLeaves. In the left sidebar, you can further organize and narrow your search results by publication year, format, and related keywords.

If you need further assistance, we urge you to contact us either by phone, or email. If you are local, we can book an appointment for you at the Center, where you can peruse the documents at your leisure and take advantage of our scanning policy , and the photocopiers/scanners in the Funk Library. If you are at a distance, we can help you identify documents, and locate copies either online, through interlibrary loan, or via scanning the copies in our collection.

Keep in mind that the ACDC collection contains documents that range broadly across communication theories and research methods, audience and situation analyses, case studies, historical resources, organization archives, risk communications, scientific writing skills and other research aspects of agricultural communications.

Researchers and Scholars

If you are a researcher or a scholar, we can offer services far beyond simply giving you online access to our unique document collection. Our staff members continually stay on top of relevant literature, historical perspectives, trending issues in the field, and significant web-based media and ephemeral web writings; we can use this expertise to help you. For example, we can help you:

  • Carry out literature searches with research focus in whatever sector
  • Gain ideas and learn techniques for creative enterprises: projects related to video, photography, drama, music, art, performance, etc.
  • Review findings of research about knowledge level, attitudes, intentions, decision making, buying behavior of selected audiences
  • Conduct historical research projects in this broad field
  • Explore research methods used in agricultural journalism and communications
  • Identify websites, blogs, and other ephemeral materials that are difficult to locate on one’s own
  • Identify and develop appropriate theoretical frameworks for your research

Furthermore, our monthly newsletter can help point you in the direction of the latest holdings the Center has acquired, provide context for current issues in the field of agricultural communications, and reveal personal insights from agricultural communications professionals all over the world.


Whatever the age or learning stage of your students – and wherever you teach – we can help connect you with information to develop robust courses, curricula and teaching modules about communications related to agriculture. No matter how broad or specific the topic at hand, we can help you with assignments, projects, research or other aspects of your educational concerns and goals.

In person, by phone, or email , we can help you:

  • Locate resources for assignments, class projects, course planning, teaching methods, curricula
  • Identify resource materials on specific topics such as communications related to food safety, farming methods, green issues, climate change, rural community development, etc.
  • Discover resources by specific media type — from face-to-face conversations, meetings, events and workshops to mediated methods such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, photography, music, folk media and new media such as social media, podcasts, videos, blogs, etc.
  • Develop and hone teaching methodologies for any level of student expertise

You can see an example of some of the programming aid we’ve provided teachers on our Oral History Project page; you will find assignment examples and a coursework guide for including the Oral History podcasts in your curriculum under Resources.

Furthermore, the Center is open daily and available for orientation tours for classes. Please contact us to schedule a tour.

Journalists and Communicators

If you are working as a journalist or as a professional communicator, we have many services tailored to meet your needs. We can help you:

  • Identify story ideas and leads for covering agriculture; we watch for the latest
  • Learn effective methods and skills, ranging widely across writing, video, photography, website development, social media, traditional media, radio/tv broadcasting, exhibits, events, event planning, and others
  • Track new and emerging information issues related to all dimensions of agriculture
  • Develop approaches for investigative reporting
  • Find sources—personal, online—for articles and projects across a wide range of topics
  • Examine the development and current status of communications about issues related to agriculture
  • Analyze and update yourself on information sources used by many audiences about many agriculture topics
  • Gain tips for planning campaigns and other coordinated communications efforts
  • Identify and develop personal connections
  • Examine similarities and differences in agricultural communications across nations and cultures

Please feel free to contact us by email or phone, or schedule a time to visit the Center. We want to connect with you.

Others Interested in Communicating Within—and About—Agriculture

The Center can provide professionals and pre-professionals who are interested in agricultural communications with many valuable services and insights. We can help:

  • Examine information issues in your field of agricultural and rural interest
  • Learn about the role and effectiveness of specific media for communicating about agriculture
  • Gain skills in planning communications efforts related to agriculture
  • Become more adept in media relations
  • Tune in on current (or past) attitudes, knowledge levels and practices of specific audiences
  • Become acquainted with organizations and interest groups that communicate about agriculture
  • Get ideas for creative approaches to use in communicating about agriculture
  • Improve your skills in preparing materials for use with specific media
  • Serve professionals and pre-professionals under tight deadlines

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have. You may find more helpful information about our service on our FAQs page, our Useful Tips page, and our Strategic Planning page. We look forward to working with you!

We Will Be Pleased to Help You!

  • Through our unique online search service, BibLeaves .
  • Through personal help you can gain by conferring with use through email and phone .
  • By serving as your home base and host if you wish to spend time in the Center conducting research in this field through a sabbatical leave, graduate research project, or other activity for your professional development.