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Vansville Farmers Club records

 Collection 0152-MDHC

Organized in 1884, the Vansville Farmers Club sponsored the first farmers' institutes in Maryland. Consisting largely of minutes of meetings, the collection includes information about farm inspections, animal and crop diseases, and the promotion of agricultural improvements.


  • 1898-1994

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


1.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Vansville Farmers Club records include materials dating from 1898 to 1994. The collection contains correspondence, reports, historical information, and the club's constitution, bylaws, and meeting minutes.

Administrative History

The Vansville Farmers Club, organized in March 1884 at the home of James D. Cassard, the club's founder, was inspired by the Montgomery County Farmers Convention. The club was the immediate successor of the Maryland Agricultural Society, which ceased to exist in 1884. Monthly meetings were held at members' farms. The inspection of the farm and property of the host was an important part of the meeting. The club called upon members to meet early enough to inspect the host's farm and "criticize it freely, but without flattery," after which the Inspection Committee would submit a report. The host was expected to deliver an essay on farm, which was recorded in the minutes of the meeting, as was the Inspection Committee's report. The inspection was followed by a meal provided by the host. The Vansville Farmers Club sponsored the first Farmers' Institute, from which developed the state system of Farmers' Institutes which were eventually taken over by the Extension Service of the University of Maryland. Members have been involved in civic and farm affairs in the state of Maryland since the club's inception.


The collection is arranged as five series.

Series 1
Constitution and Bylaws
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4
Series 5

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland at College Park Libraries received the archives of the Vansville Farms Club in 1973. The club donated additional materials in 1994.

Related Material

Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries holds a number of collections relating to agriculture in Maryland, including records or Farmers' Institutes, as well as the papers of former club members Dr. Harry Jacob Patterson, Dr. Thomas B. Symons, and Albert F. Woods.

Processing Information

The archives of the Vansville Farmers Club were originally arranged into one series; this structure was expanded when the addendum was processed in 1997. At that time, the contents of a file entitled "Vansville Farmer's Club Record Book" were dispersed to various locations within the collection. This "Book" contained meeting minutes dated 1984 to 1991, correspondence dated 1976 to 1991, an undated copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of the Vansville Farmers Club, and a list of names, probably club members. Staples and paper clips were removed, all materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes, and the guide was revised.

Guide to the Vansville Farmers Club records
Processed by unknown.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

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