Special Collections houses a wealth of materials relating to all aspects of agricultural history, discovery, and advancement. The combination of over 15,000 rare books, 400 manuscript collections, original art work, posters, photographs, and nursery and seed trade catalogs makes Special Collections a premiere center for agricultural research. The materials are divided into manuscript collections, rare books, and nursery and seed catalogs.
Guide to CollectionsIndex to the Manuscript Collections
Search Special Collections' holdings of over 400 manuscript and archival collections containing materials from the 19th through the 21st centuries.
Rare Book Collection
Special Collections' rare book collection is strong in botany, natural history, zoology, and entomology.
The Film Collection contains over one thousand 8 mm and 16 mm agricultural films, primarily produced by USDA, from the twentieth century.
USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection
View over 7,000 watercolor images produced by USDA artists to illustrate new fruit cultivars at the turn of the 20th century.
Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection
Consists of over 200,000 American and foreign commercial catalogs and the collection is strongest from the 1890s to the present.
USDA History Collection
Guide to a collection of manuscript material relating to the 150-year history of the USDA.
Edward Fred Knipling Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records
Guide to the papers of Edward Fred Knipling (1909-2000). Knipling was a renowned entomologist and theorist best known as the inventor of the sterile insect technique (SIT), used to eradicate the screwworm insect.
Screwworm Eradication Program Records
View our expansive holdings on the USDA's involvement in screwworm eradication.
Thomas Jefferson Correspondence Collection
The collection consists of eleven letters to, from, and about Thomas Jefferson dating from 1794 to 1819.
Charles Valentine Riley Collection
Learn more about NAL's Charles Valentine Riley holdings which include books, manuscript collections, and artwork.
Carl von Linné Bibliographies and Materials at the National Agricultural Library
Includes two bibliographies, a sample of digitized images, a selection of highlights from NAL's collection, and links to important Linné resources at other institutions.
American Biological Safety Association Collection
Includes records, newsletters, photographs, conference proceedings and more.