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Cooperative Extension Service (CES) records

 Collection 0012-UA

Founded in 1914 to administer federal and state funding for programs to improve community life, the Cooperative Extension Service concentrated its activities in eight areas: agricultural profitability; natural resources; diet, nutrition and health; human capital development; family economic stability; agricultural technology for urban audiences; profitability of marine industries; and enhanced community vitality. Publications, contracts, reports, photographs, and correspondence document the programs and activities of the Cooperative Extension Service in Maryland, particularly in the areas of agricultural research, education, and outreach.


  • 1914-1972

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.


4.50 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Cooperative Extension Service (CES) records consist of correspondence, various public service publications, reports, contracts, and other materials produced by or relating to the CES. These materials document the programs and functions of the CES particularly in the areas of agricultural research, education, and outreach.

Administrative History

The Cooperative Extension Service (CES) of the University of Maryland was founded in 1914 as a result of the Smith-Lever Act, which provided for federal support of programs designed for the improvement of community life. The Cooperative Extension Service primarily concentrates its activities in eight areas:

1) agricultural profitability

2) natural resources

3) diet, nutrition and health

4) human capital development

5) family economic stability

6) agricultural technology for urban audiences

7) profitability of marine industries

8) enhancing community vitality

The federal support provided was made available to academic institutions created under either the 1862 or 1890 Land Grants. Funding is also provided by all twenty-three counties and Baltimore City, and in return, the CES places representatives in each of these regions to help actuate their programs, while the researchers and specialists can remain on the campuses of the University of Maryland to develop the programs. In order to achieve their goals, the CES cooperates extensively with the University of Maryland's College Park and Eastern Shore campuses. The University often provides the buildings and materials needed for workshops and conferences, and supports research of efficient systems of agriculture, health, and economics. The service is also actively involved in community awareness programs.

In order to "extend the classroom to all parts of the state," the CES conducts farm or home visits, workshops, training conferences and demonstrations, and produces publications and radio and television programs. It provides the "off-campus, non-credit, out-of-classroom" education to many of the state's farmers, marine workers, and rural and urban homemakers need, regardless of their race, color, creed, sex, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, or handicap.


This collection is organized as four series:

Series 1
Administrative Records
Series 2
Series 3
Annual Reports-Worcester County
Series 4

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The records of the Cooperative Extension Service were transferred to the University of Maryland Libraries in the 1970s.

Related Material

There are substantial additional accessions from the Cooperative Extension Service, including unprocessed records dating to 2003. Some inventories are available. There are also collections from serveral county extension serivces, including Baltimore, Calvert and St. Mary's counties. See also corresponding University Publications.

Processing Information

The records were placed into acid-neutral folders and the metal paper clips were replaced with plastic ones over protective paper. The photographs were transferred to the photographic collection.

Guide to the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) records
Processed by: Christopher Becker.
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