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Research Materials, 1904-1970 and undated

 Series 1

The bulk of this series consists of experimental crop notebooks and field staff diaries with the majority of the materials dating from 1908 to 1948.

There are two types of experimental crop notebooks: field notebooks and Tobacco Breeding Record Books. The four field notebooks contain data from various experiments, including irrigation-burn tests as well as potash rates and sources. The USDA Plant Breeding Laboratory specially designed the Tobacco Breeding Record Books "to secure uniformity in nomenclature and note taking, and promote uniform methods of classification in the tobacco breeding experiments." In the designated columns, Brown recorded such information as the date seeds were sown, physical description of leaves, and height of stems. Brown also used the record books to record other types of data not suggested by the USDA, and the record books often contain data that does not correspond directly to the date on the cover of the book. In the 1906 volume, for example, Brown lists the names of the people in Maryland to whom he sent tobacco seed in 1907. Brown also lists amounts of hay harvested and the results of a variety of experiments, including nitrogen, iron salts, tannin acid, and tobacco germination. In addition to entering data related to Upper Marlboro, Sasscer's Field, Weems, Drurys, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, Fair Grounds, Hills, Wills, and Johnsons, Brown often drew line drawings of various farm plots in the record books.

The field staff diaries are ledger books in which Brown recorded daily activities on the experiment farm in Upper Marlboro from 1908 until 1948, such as type and location of tobacco tests, installation of boiler sheds, spreading manure, and expenditures. In addition, he often recorded the daily weather and information about laborers. A sample entry follows from September 24, 1912:

rained all day

1.95 at 10 a.m.

Packed tobacco 1 hhg [hogshead] dull 880 lbs and started sacking potatoes to be shipped to Md. Exp. Sta..

Wm Chaney and 2 horses

Joe Coffin 1 day

Wm Rogers 1day

M Eterna 1day

Joe Chaney 1day

Harold Wilson 1day

Several field staff diaries include drawings of farm plots and experimental crop data. For all of the field diaries except the 1921-1924 volume, there are folders of addenda, which include items that were probably taken from the pages of the diaries when the collection was first processed. These items include correspondence, publications, data, receipts, an inventory of the experiment farm equipment, as well as expenditure and travel authorizations. These addenda do not always correspond to the date of the volume from which they were taken.

This series also contains several folders, under the heading "Tests," that include data and descriptions from specific experiments, including "Results of Experiments on Method of Fertilizer Application for Tobacco." The folder of computations contains pages with numbers and calculations on them, mostly unidentified.

Arrangement is alphabetical by document type, and, within types, the items are ordered chronologically.


  • 1904-1970 and undated

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.


4.75 Linear Feet

4 Items

4.00 Linear Feet (4 linear feet and 4 items)

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742