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Orman E. Street papers

 Collection 0292-UA

Orman Street was a professor of agronomy at the University of Maryland from 1949 to 1969. Professor Street taught courses in tobacco production, tobacco anatomy, and tobacco chemistry and received numerous awards and honors for his work in this field. His papers include publications, biographical material, photographs, and reports and administrative records of the Agronomy Department. Subjects include the history of the Agronomy Department, tobacco, tobacco curing, and information on the Maryland Tobacco Extension Station in Upper Marlboro.


  • 1928-circa 1981

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.


0.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Orman E. Street papers cover the period from 1928 to circa 1981. The collection documents Street's work in the Department of Agronomy and the department's work with the Agricultural Experiment Station, including a history of the University of Maryland's Tobacco Experiment Station in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It also documents crop projects, including sugar, corn, grass, wheat, oats, barley, hay, and annual legumes.


Orman Elery Street was born January 5, 1903, in Revillo, South Dakota. He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1924 with a Bachelor of Science degree in soils and chemistry and completed his Master of Science degree at Michigan State University in 1927. He received a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in botany, physics, and physical chemistry in 1933.

From 1929 to 1939, he worked as a plant physiologist with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Windsor, Connecticut. In 1939, he moved on to a position with the U. S. Department of Agriculture Tobacco Field Laboratory at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he conducted tobacco-related agronomic research on seed beds, fertilizer response, diseases, breeding, curing, and fermentation. In addition to those responsibilities, he began teaching agronomy as an associate professor at Pennsylvania State College in 1945.

In 1949, Street left Lancaster to accept a position as an associate professor in the University of Maryland's Department of Agronomy. He conducted research at the University's Tobacco Experiment Station in Upper Marlboro and taught courses in tobacco production. He was largely responsible for the development of that program and its later success. During his time as director of the University's Tobacco Experiment Station, the number of researchers tripled and the station's research results encouraged southern Maryland tobacco farmers to adopt such practices as seedbed sterilization, irrigation, and improved fertilization. Street was also the author of more than 100 scientific publications and received the Research Award of the Cigar Manufacturers of America in 1963 and the Maryland Crop Improvement Association's Distinguished Agronomist Award in 1973.

Street retired in 1969 but remained with the University as an acting climatologist from 1973 to the late 1970s. During his retirement, he also worked as a consultant on tobacco production with the Chun Cheng Foundation in Taiwan from 1969 to 1970. He died on October 26, 1988, in Adelphi, Maryland at the age of 85. He and his wife, Mary Fayette Kent, who died in 1947, had three daughters: Priscilla S. Tucker, Martha S. Eller, and Margaret S. (Emmy) Lear.


The Orman E. Street papers consist of three series:

Series 1
Teaching and Publishing
Series 2
Department of Agronomy
Series 3

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Orman E. Street donated his papers to the University of Maryland Libraries on September 25, 1981.

Related Material

University publications that deal directly with agronomy at the University of Maryland appear in The Department of Agronomy (A40) and The Agronomist (C51) and include departmental reports and newsletters. Other related publications contain more general information about agricultural research at the University, such as materials on the Agricultural Experiment Station (A33) and the College of Agriculture (A37). Street was involved with two of the Agricultural Experiment Station publications: Irrigation Studies with Maryland Tobacco (A33.064) and Precipitation, Temperature and Growing Degree Days in Maryland and Delaware during 1979 (A33.091).

The University of Maryland also holds several University record groups that focus on similar topics. Records of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station cover the activities at the station in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Records of the College of Agriculture contain information on the college in the twentieth century.

In addition, Special Collections holds the Papers of Jacob Elry Metzger, who was head of the Agronomy Department from 1917 to 1939. These papers consist of Metzger's speeches and writings. The Papers of Geary F. Eppley, a professor in the agronomy department, who wrote a report contained in the Street Papers, are also located in Special Colelctions.

Processing Information

The materials were placed in acid-free folders, and metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic paper clips and acid-free paper.

Guide to the Orman E. Street papers
Processed by Jordan Patty.
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