Wednesday, March 16

yearbook of the united states department of agriculture

The main purpose of the Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture was to summarize USDA’s research developments. However, the Yearbook, which was published (with a couple of exceptions) annually from 1894 to 1992, has a broad appeal outside of the scientific community. In fact, Congress passed a law to provide for its publication as part of an effort to make agricultural information more readily available to farmers and other interested citizens.
-via the National Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR)
The format of the yearbooks was to take a certain subject each year (e.g. 1940: Farmers, 1966: Protecting our food, 1967: Outdoors USA, 1982: Food from farm to table, 1990: Americans in agriculture...) and include essays, photos and papers on various facets. The NALDR has digitized almost the whole run (from 1938-1992). Have to admit they are a little dry... not as fun as the USDA Handbooks.

The covers though! They are fantastic. The Massachusetts State Library blog ran a feature on them the other week, and the Preservation Librarian there (Lacy Crews Stoneburner... btw great name) has scanned the covers they have to the State Library flickr page. Def' worth a look, the example above reproduced w/ Lacy's ok.