Thirty years of preserving, discovering, and accessing U.S. agricultural information: Past progress and current challenges

Cristina Caminita, Michael Cook, Amy Paster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper describes past preservation efforts with agricultural literature in the United States, as well as current projects, challenges, and trends. Starting in the early 1990s, preservation of U.S. historical agricultural publications experienced a period of coordinated scholarly evaluation and funding. In 1993 the combined efforts of the United States Agricultural Information Network and librarians at Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library produced the National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature. It was an ambitious effort to save the nation’s historical print-agricultural literature from deterioration. This effort ranged from nationally significant scholarly works, such as the Core Historical Literature of Agriculture, to significant state and local literature. A multiphase project on state and local literature was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Later, in the wake of the nation’s financial crisis of 2008, NEH-sponsored funding ended and staffing levels in many libraries declined as the large-scale digitization of library collections was being undertaken by Microsoft and Google. With the advent of HathiTrust Digital Library and other collaborative efforts, the challenges and opportunities for preserving and accessing the nation’s agricultural literature have evolved and changed dramatically. Today, new partnerships and initiatives around the country, such as the Center for Research Libraries–sponsored Project Ceres, are continuing and refocusing earlier efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-315
Number of pages23
JournalLibrary Trends
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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