The Richard White Collection, which covers the period 1905 to 1920, includes correspondence between the Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, H. J. Patterson, and the Superintendent of the Ridgely Sub-station, Charles Opperman. The two men discuss administrative details concerning the setup of the farm as an experiment sub-station, including questions about how expenses will be handled and what repairs should be made to the existing structures. The correspondence also contains descriptions of the experimental work taking place on the farm as well as plans for future work. In addition, the series contains an annual report from 1917 and two detailed inventories of items on the Ridgely property in 1917 and 1920. Maps show the boundaries of the farm and its field divisions. These materials date from 1914 to 1920. The collection also contains academic reports of Herbert James White, a student of the Maryland Agricultural College from 1905 until 1911.
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The Richard White collection, which covers the period 1905 to 1920, includes correspondence between the Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, H. J. Patterson, and the Superintendent of the Ridgely Sub-station, Charles Opperman, as well as four drawings of the Ridgely Farm plot and its field divisions. These materials date from 1914 to 1920. The collection also contains academic reports of Herbert James White, a student of the Maryland Agricultural College from 1905 until 1911.
Richard White graduated from the University of Maryland in 1934 with a degree in Entomology. The collection of papers he deposited with the University of Maryland Libraries contain materials about White's brother, Herbert James, and the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Substation at Ridgely, where White's brother, Albert, served as Superintendent from 1919 to 1943.
In 1914, the State of Maryland purchased a farm in Ridgely, Maryland, from the Caroline County School Board at a cost of $15,000 for fifty acres of land, one house, two tenant houses, a stable, and a few other outbuildings. The property was turned over to the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station on October 1, 1914, to be used as a sub-station that would supplement the work conducted at the Station's primary farm in College Park. Charles L. Opperman moved to the Ridgely Farm on September 10, 1914, assumed charge of the farm the same day it was turned over to the Experiment Station, and held the position of Superintendent until January 1, 1919, when he became Agricultural Editor for the Extension Department. Opperman's career in Maryland began on December 1, 1906, when the Experiment Station employed him as an assistant in poultry. He was promoted on July 1, 1909, to Associate Poultryman and resigned from that position a year later. Prior to his employment in Maryland, Opperman had been connected with Cornell University and the poultry departments of the Michigan and Iowa Experiment Stations.
Albert White succeeded Opperman as Superintendent of the Ridgely Farm, a position he held until his death on July 16, 1943. Albert was the son of Thomas H. and Annie Louisa White, who immigrated from England in 1888. From 1898 until his retirement in 1938, Thomas was employed by the Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1915, the Maryland Agricultural College awarded him an honorary degree of Master of Science in Horticulture. Albert was one of nine children, six of whom graduated from the University of Maryland: Herbert James, 1911, Chemistry; William Henry, 1913, Entomology; Albert, 1914, Horticulture; Robert, 1916, Chemistry; Charles Edward, 1926, Chemistry Ph.D.; and Richard Osmond, 1934, Entomology.
Kate, the only daughter of Thomas and Annie, worked in the university's library from 1918 until 1958. Herbert James was born in LaPlata, Charles County, Maryland, on September 5, 1890. Herbert began classes at the Maryland Agricultural College (M.A.C.) in 1905 as a preparatory student. According to the 1911 Reveille, Herbert was the first "day dodger" (a term used to describe a student who did not live on campus) to receive a commission at the Maryland Agricultural College. Charles became Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Maryland and later Professor Emeritus. The Charles E. White Chemistry Library is named in his honor.
Conrad Liden, Class of 1942, succeeded Albert White as assistant agronomist in charge of research work at the Ridgely Farm. The University of Maryland auctioned off the Ridgely experimental farm for $14,800 on January 11, 1948.
The Richard White Collection has been divided into two series
Richard White deposited the collection with the University of Maryland Libraries in 1973. Items were removed from Maryland Manuscripts (#427, 428, and 429) and added to the collection in 2003.
Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with acid-free strips covered by plastic clips. An oversize plat was unfolded, separated from the correspondence, and placed in a mapcase.