Guide to Federal Records

Records of the Extension Service


Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 33.2 RECORDS OF THE BUREAU OF PLANT INDUSTRY 1904-26 21 lin. ft.
  • 33.2.1 General records relating to cooperative demonstration work
  • 33.2.2 Records of the Office of Demonstrations on Reclamation Projects
  • 33.3 RECORDS OF THE STATES RELATIONS SERVICE (SRS) 1906-26 40 lin. ft.
  • 33.3.1 General records
  • 33.3.2 Records of the Office of Agricultural Instruction in Schools
  • 33.4 RECORDS OF THE EXTENSION SERVICE 1907-49 900 lin. ft.
  • 33.4.1 General records
  • 33.4.2 Records of the European Corn Borer Control Project
  • 33.4.3 Records of the Farm Labor Program
  • 33.4.4 Records concerning bureau participation in relief programs
  • 33.6 ANNUAL NARRATIVE AND STATISTICAL REPORTS 1908-66 3,590 lin. ft. and 7,167 rolls of microfilm
  • 33.8 MOTION PICTURES (GENERAL) 1913-ca. 1965 589 reels
  • 33.9 STILL PICTURES (GENERAL) 1910-54 29,600 images

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Established: In the Department of Agriculture by Secretary's Memorandum 1000-1, June 17, 1981.

Predecessor Agencies:

In the Department of Agriculture:

  • Office of Experiment Stations (1888-1915)
In the Bureau of Plant Industry:
  • Office of Cooperative Demonstration Work (1904-14)
  • Office of Farm Management (1906-15)
In the States Relations Service:
  • Office of Extension Work in the South (1915-21)
  • Office of Extension Work in the North and West (1915-21)
  • Office of Cooperative Extension Work (1921-23)
  • Extension Service (1923-53)
  • Federal Extension Service (1954-70)
  • Extension Service (1970-78)
  • Extension Staff, Science and Education Administration (1978-81)
Functions: Coordinates extension activities of the Department of Agriculture with those of state agricultural colleges. Provides county agricultural and home demonstration agents. Publishes results of agricultural research. Provides emergency services through local agents. Presents displays and exhibits at fairs and expositions.

Finding Aids: Virgil E. Baugh, comp., Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Extension Service, PI 83 (1955); James E. Primas and Virgil E. Baugh, comps., "Preliminary Inventory of the Records of the Federal Extension Service Supplementary to National Archives Preliminary Inventory No. 83," NC 117 (June 1965).

Related Records: Record copies of publications of the Extension Service and its predecessors in RG 287, Publications of the U.S. Government.

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History: Department of Agriculture extension work concentrated in the Bureau of Plant Industry, 1904-15, principally in the Office of Cooperative Demonstration Work, established 1904, and Office of Farm Management, established 1906. Extension functions of the bureau transferred to newly established States Relations Service, 1915. SEE 33.3.

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33.2.1 General records relating to cooperative demonstration work

Textual Records: Letters received by bureau chief Seaman A. Knapp, chiefly from cooperating farmers, 1905-6, and from county demonstration agents, 1905-12. Records of demonstration agents, consisting of periodic reports, letters of commendation, and minutes of agents' meetings, 1907-13. Agents' reports on demonstration farms and crops, 1906. Financial records of the cotton boll weevil investigation, 1904-6.

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33.2.2 Records of the Office of Demonstrations on Reclamation

History: Established in the Bureau of Plant Industry, July 1, 1914, at the request of the Department of the Interior to demonstrate improved farming practices to settlers on reclaimed arid lands. Transferred to the Extension Service, August 16, 1924.

Textual Records: Correspondence of the agriculturalist in charge with the Chief, Bureau of Plant Industry, 1914-24. Office correspondence, chiefly concerning field cooperation, 1914-24. Project correspondence, 1914-26. Correspondence with project personnel, 1914-24. Vocational correspondence relating to projects, 1914-24.

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History: Smith-Lever Agricultural Extension Work Act (38 Stat. 372), May 8, 1914, expanded the Department of Agriculture's cooperative role and led to the consolidation of all extension work in the States Relations Service, established July 1, 1915, under provisions of the Agricultural Appropriation Act (38 Stat. 1109), March 4, 1915. SRS operated through the Office of Extension Work in the South and the Office of Extension Work in the North and West, 1915-21. These units were consolidated with the Office of Exhibits of the Secretary's Office and the Office of Motion Pictures of the Division of Publications in 1921 to form the Office of Cooperative Extension Work, SRS, 1921, which became the Extension Service, 1923. SEE 33.4.

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33.3.1 General records

Textual Records: Correspondence of Alfred C. True, Director, States Relations Service, 1914-23. Records of the Director's Office concerning community and farm organizations, 1918-19.

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33.3.2 Records of the Office of Agricultural Instruction in

History: Established in the States Relations Service and transferred from the Secretary's Office to the Extension Service, January 15, 1926, as the Office of Agricultural Instruction. Redesignated the Division of Agricultural Instruction in 1927.

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1906-26.

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History: Established by Secretary's Memorandum 436, effective July 1, 1923, renaming the Office of Cooperative Extension Work. Grouped with Food Production Administration, Food Distribution Administration, and Commodity Credit Corporation by EO 9322, March 26, 1943, to form the Administration of Food Production and Demonstration, renamed War Food Administration (WFA) by EO 9334, April 19, 1943. Upon termination of WFA by EO 9577, June 29, 1945, Extension Service resumed bureau status. Renamed Federal Extension Service, by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1953, effective January 2, 1954. Redesignated Extension Service by Secretary's Memorandum 1673, supplement 1, April 13, 1970. Abolished, with functions assigned to Science and Education Administration (SEA), established by Secretary's Order, January 24, 1978. Functions of former Extension Service administered by SEA Extension Staff, until SEA abolished and Extension Service reconstituted, 1981. SEE 33.1.

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33.4.1 General records

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1907-49 (445 ft.), including correspondence of the Special Agent in Charge of Cooperative Demonstration Work, 1907-15; the States Relations Service, 1915-23; and the Extension Service, 1924-43 and 1945-49, with name and subject indexes, 1907-43 (310 ft.). Subject-numeric general correspondence, 1943-82, with classification manual and index. Letters sent, 1943-44, and letters sent by extension specialists, 1943-45. Circular letters, 1908-44, with index, 1913-43. Secretary's memorandums, 1913-44, and office memorandums, 1926-44. Administrator's speech file, 1969-77. Proceedings of the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) of the Association of Land Grant Colleges and Universities, 1914-77. Special reports, studies, and surveys for wood products, 1943-67.

Photographic Prints (599 images): Staff and other individuals and activities, early Department of Agricultural buildings, and miscellaneous subjects, 1920-75 (HF, 500 images). Photographic albums created by the Extension Service: "Pix" and "A Look at Extension Work," 1938-39 (PB, 62 images). School lunch programs, 1939-44 (SL, 37 images). SEE ALSO 33.9.

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 33.4.2 Records of the European Corn Borer Control Project

Textual Records: Reports, 1927-28. Publicity materials, 1925-29.

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 33.4.3 Records of the Farm Labor Program

Textual Records: General correspondence, reports, and publicity materials, 1943-48. Divisional histories and program summaries, 1943-47. Annual narrative and statistical reports of extension and other workers, 1943-47.

Maps (1 item): United States, showing major crop areas requiring imported labor, 1947.

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 33.4.4 Records concerning bureau participation in relief programs

Textual Records: Letters sent and general correspondence of the Federal Drought Relief Committee, 1930-31. Minutes, 1929-33; monthly and quarterly reports of the Board of Alternates, 1929-35; printed and manuscript annual reports, 1928-34; orders, 1929-31; and miscellaneous records, 1928-33, of the Puerto Rican Hurricane Relief Commission.

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History: Department of Agriculture exhibit activities date to participation in the world's fair held at the Crystal Palace in London, 1851. Office of Special Agent on Exhibits established, July 1, 1912, and made part of Division of Exhibits in the Secretary's Office, 1920. Assigned to Office of Cooperative Extension Work, States Relations Service, 1921. Assigned to Extension Service, 1923, and became the Agricultural Exhibits Section, Extension Information Division.

Textual Records: Correspondence, reports, and related records documenting Department of Agriculture participation in the Paris Universal Exposition of 1888-89; the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893; the Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta, 1895; the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Nashville, 1897; the Trans-Mississippi International Exposition, Omaha, 1898; the Paris Universal Exposition, 1900; the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901; the South Carolina Interstate and West Indian Exposition, Charleston, 1901-2; the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis, 1904; the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition, 1907; the Alaska-Yukon- Pacific Exposition, Seattle, 1909; and the National Ecuadorian Exposition, Quito, Ecuador, 1909.

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Textual Records: Microfilm copies of annual narrative and statistical reports of the Extension Service and its predecessors, 1908-44 (7,167 rolls). Annual reports of the Extension Service, 1946-74 (2,923 ft.), and annual reports of state and county extension workers, 1946-60 (2,666 ft.). Exhibits and other material submitted with the reports, 1914-44. Indexes to annual reports of field workers, 1924-28. Annual reports for North Carolina, 1908-17. Annual reports for Arkansas, 1911-66 (in Fort Worth). Annual inspection reports of cooperative field extension work ("Smith-Lever Inspection Reports"), 1914- 47. Reports and other records on activities of boys and girls clubs, 1911- 22. Statistical summaries of cooperative extension work, 1924-61.

Microfilm Publications: For a complete list of Extension Service annual reports, 1908-44, available as National Archives microfilm publications, see the current edition of the National Archives microfilm catalog.

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SEE Maps UNDER 33.4.3.

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Films produced or collected by the Extension Service in its capacity as central film distributor for the Department of Agriculture, and depicting activities of the Department of Agriculture and general agricultural themes, 1913-45 (565 reels). Instructional and other films produced by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service under the sponsorship of the Department of Agriculture, 1943-1971 (171 reels).

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Photographs (633 images): Extension and home demonstration work, 1917-36 (B, 333 images). Agency personnel and activities, 1918-34 (C, 280 images). National 4-H Week posters, 1954-81 (HPP, 20 images).

Photographic Prints (47 images): African-American youth at the second annual regional 4-H camp in Nashville, TN, 1949 (H).

Photographic Negatives (28,560 images): Rural life and agricultural activities, with emphasis on the programs of the Extension Service, including many taken by G.W. Ackerman and E.C. Hunter, 1920-54 (S, 17,200 images; SC, 10,360 images), with accompanying logbook (SCX). National 4-H Club Camp in Washington, DC, 1950 (CC, 1,000 images).

Posters (44 images): National 4-H Week posters advertising National 4-H Week, 1925-85 (HP), with accompanying information kits, 1925-91 (HPX) and correspondence and background papers relating to the creation of National 4-H Week posters, 1951-91 (HPT).

SEE Photographic Prints UNDER 33.4.1

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.

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