AU-aglit 12/13/96

Janet McCoy (


AUBURN -- Auburn University Libraries has joined libraries at eight other land grant universities in the U.S. Agricultural Information Network Preservation Project.

The project, designed to identify and preserve historical literature on agricultural development and rural life from 1820-1945, is funded in its initial phase with a $850,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The program is a con tinuation of the National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature commissioned by USAIN in 1993.

"Since the nation was largely rural until after World War II, these publications contain information about a significant sector of U.S. History," says Dwayne Cox, university archivist, who with Dale Foster, head of Special Collections, are project m anagers for the Alabama project. "This cooperative preservation effort
will keep in tact agrarian literature for future generations of scholars and farmers."

AU Libraries received $134,862 to identify, catalog and microfilm more than 1,000 titles in Alabama. Historical literature from each of the nine states will be identified and then evaluated by a panel of scholars. Nationally, the project seeks to pre serve more than 6,800 early and valuable volumes.

"This rich literature traces agriculture as it evolved from a home and family way of life to the business enterprises which we know today," Foster said.

The grant will allow for handling local and land-grant literature about or published in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

"Rural life will be the focus as represented in many types of publications: agricultural and farm journals, histories, grant and agricultural society documents, natural histories and records of rural growth and community development," Foster said.

Other university libraries involved in the project are the universities of California at Berkeley, Connecticut, Florida, Nebraska; Texas A&M University; Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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CONTACT: Cox, 844-1707 (; and Foster, 844-1755 (