UW News

August 9, 2004

UW Libraries to help preserve agricultural literature

News and Information

The University of Washington Libraries is part of a national project to preserve agricultural literature on microfilm.

“The University Libraries is pleased to be part of this project to preserve our state’s rich heritage in agriculture, forestry and fisheries,” says Gary Menges, preservation administrator for University Libraries.

As part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, UW Libraries, working with Washington State University Libraries, will be assembling a bibliography of material published in the state between 1820 and 1945 that is ranked and reviewed by scholars for preservation purposes. In a separate project, not covered by the current grant, the most important material will be microfilmed.

Cindy Stewart Kaag, interim assistant director for public services at Washington State University, adds “As a land grant university with particular responsibility for agriculture, we at WSU very much welcome the opportunity to be part of this effort to ensure unique Washington state agricultural publications will be widely available.”

The literature includes a variety of documents, such as memoirs, transactions of early agricultural societies, seed catalogs, almanacs, extension service publications, photographs, oral histories and periodicals. The project will focus on printed publications.

The first phase of the project is being funded by an NEH grant of $618,857 to Cornell University, which is subcontracting with libraries in other states to preserve agricultural literature in those states. The Washington project will cost $43,323.

The grant will contribute to a long-term preservation project, the National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature, whose goal is to prevent historically significant agricultural literature from being lost to natural decay. Since 1996, over 30,000 volumes published between 1820 and 1945 have been saved.


For more information, contact Gary Menges, 206-685-1589, menges@u.washington.edu, or Cindy Stewart Kaag, 509-335-4241, kaag@wsu.edu.