Bulletin (Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station)

Research reports with narratives, descriptions, graphs and charts, from the expert authors at the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station.

"To Make the Knowledge Thus Obtained the Common Property of All"

As sources of social, agricultural, and economic history, and information on the ways farming developed in the Natural State, the digitized collections of the Arkansas Extension Circular and the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin, are reciprocal resources.

These publications were intended to improve the productive lives and health of farmers and families in Arkansas. The Circular publications were aimed at and written for a broader general audience, and were written primarily by county agents; the Bulletin provided research reports, with narratives, descriptions, graphs and charts, from the expert authors at the Experiment Station. More formal in character, they provided more in-depth information, and some had literature reviews and cited sources.

The Bulletin, which continued with the Report series and Research Bulletin, (both subtitled: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station) covered a range of topics, but was intended to answer questions or problems and convey the results of specific demonstrations, research and experiments.

In the experience of every thinking farmer many questions arise which he has neither the time, means nor training to solve satisfactorily. It will be the aim of the Station to select for study such of these problems as appear to be of most immediate practical importance to the farmers, stock raisers and fruit growers of this State, to bring all possible scientific appliances to bear on their solution, and by publishing the results of investigations to make the knowledge thus obtained the common property of all.

Bulletin No. 1, Experiments on Corn and Cotton in Drew County, Announcement, p. 2

Covered subjects in the Bulletin include apples, tomatoes, peaches, cotton, plant and animal diseases, pests and varieties, soybean culture, soil fertility, garden crops from asparagus to watermelons, crops that are of revitalized interest, such as cowpeas (no. 343, Variety and Inter-Cultural Experiments with Cowpeas, 1937 and others), and topics from birds of Arkansas (no. 258), to rice in all its aspects, and profitable varieties of strawberries in a given year.

Crop research reports are not the sole focus of the Bulletin—there are surveys related to labor and economics, such as that on plantations in Arkansas (Bulletin no. 339, Plantation Operations of Landlords and Tenants,1937), the soundness of banks in Arkansas during the Great Depression, (no. 298, 1934), farm credit and loans (no. 208, 1926 and others), and taxes (no. 223, 1928 and others), control and prevention of diseases, including tuberculosis in farm animals (nos. 35, 57, 63, 136 and others), the availability of health care in some parts of the state (one of several is no. 353, Sickness and Medical Care in an Ozark Area in Arkansas, 1938), and surveys on other issues, such as education, housing, the social organization of rural communities (no. 285, 1933 and others), another subject of current interest, and more.

From the U.S. Department of Interior Bulletin, 1931, No.6

Endorsement from no. 268, 1931, p 2

Some topics are perennially important: Bulletin no. 184 from 1923, which covers vitamins and nutrition for children and adults, includes illustrated descriptions of potential illnesses related to poor nutrition and vigorous advocacy, approaching exhortation, to the people of Arkansas to drink more milk, raise chickens and eat eggs, and, (as in contemporary conversations), to consume far more vegetables and fruit and get more exercise (Bulletin no. 184, Vitamins, Health and the Daily Diet, May 1923).

Some problems are difficult to solve, and some research focuses tend to be cyclical; it’s clear that there are many potential items of interest to study in the Bulletin.

Note: The first parts of the digitized Bulletin were published online in July 2017. Due to the scope of this project, the Bulletin (Arkansas Agricultural Extension Station) digital collection is an organic, growing collection, with monthly content additions. The estimated completion date is September 2018.

Note: The Cooperative Extension Service, and the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station are still in operation in Arkansas. Check with them for more current information on many of these topics.

Nearly all farmers use horses or mules for row cultivation.

Bulletin no. 186, p 5.

View of some of he buildings at the University of Arkansas College of Agriculture's Main Experiment Station, showing the dairy barn, mule barn, machinery shed, and seed house.
Belt work is an important factor in successful operation.

Bulletin no. 186, 1923, p.9

Construction view of barn, showing the framing for a self-supporting roof. Plans of farm buildings are furnished free to farmers of the state.

Bulletin no. 236, 1937

This digitization project was funded in part by an award from Project Ceres, in cooperation with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) and the Agricultural Information Center (AgNIC). This is the third such award for the University Libraries.

We are digitizing the original Experiment Station Bulletins and placing the resulting pdf files online, to provide easier accessibility and full search capabilities. Appropriate metadata accompanies each record and a URL will be placed in the existing OCLC records to facilitate access to the materials. The files will also be provided to CRL for their collections.

These projects (digitization of the Circulars, Bulletins, and forthcoming MPs, set to begin soon) are, in effect, a continuation of the "State and Local Literature Preservation Project," funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and USAIN in 1999.

Project and Technical Notes

The Bulletin (Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station) digital collection is a project sponsored by Project CERES, with funding from the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The University Libraries project team was composed of Necia Parker-Gibson, Agriculture Librarian and Principal Investigator; Deborah E. Kulczak, Head of Technical Services and Database Maintenance and Music Cataloging Unit Head, and Martha Parker, Digital Services Librarian.

Images were digitized and processed by Digital Services personnel, including Lee A. Holt, Alexa Shepard, Wendy McLean, Jayleen Serrano, Rachel Ross, Alejandra Rubio, Sídney Perry, Hannah Rennell, Rosalin Sahu, Ryan Goodwin, and Dexter Fairweather using an Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner, an image access Bookeye 4 Book scanner, and Silver Fast Scanning software. Optical character recognition (OCR) was added using ABBYY FineReader. Image optimization was performed using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Acrobat. CONTENTdm digital asset management software from OCLC was used to create metadata, using Dublin Core standards, Library of Congress Name Authorities, the Art and Architectural Thesaurus, and the University of Arkansas Libraries CONTENTdm Cookbook.

Dylan Hurd and Beth Juhl from Web Services contributed to the webpage design. The digitization project is a continuation and augmentation of the digital collection Arkansas Extension Circulars, which was funded in 2015 by Project CERES. The Bulletin is an organic project, being added to over time.  The project was completed October 31, 2018, and covers years 1888-1997, including Bulletins nos. 1– 961.