Ernest P. Imle Papers

Soy leaf Introduction

The Ernest P. Imle Papers include subject files, photographs, reports, and articles about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rubber research from the 1940s to the 1970s, primarily at the Regional Rubber Experiment Station in Costa Rica. Additionally, there are articles and correspondence on tropical agriculture, including cacao, and publications on lilies. This collection has not been fully processed, therefore the container list is a draft and will change once processing is completed.


Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) acquires, arranges, describes, preserves and makes available rare materials significant to the history of agriculture. Materials are obtained through donation or active collection in accordance with the established Special Collections collection development policy. Special Collections staff organize and describe materials according to archival principles and create descriptions and indexes to enhance access. Staff do not edit or otherwise modify the original materials. The views expressed in the collections do not necessarily reflect the policies of the National Agricultural Library or the United States Department of Agriculture.

Biographical Sketch

Ernest P. Imle (b. 1910), a plant pathologist, began working for USDA in 1942. He was director of the Regional Rubber Experiment Station in Turrialba, Costa Rica, from 1945-1954, botanist for the Plant Introduction Section from 1955-1957, director of research at the American Cocoa Research Institute from 1957-1971, and assistant director of the International Programs Division of the Agricultural Research Service from 1971-1998. His research interests included improvement and diseases of tropical crops, research and training needs in tropical agriculture, plant introduction, and quarantine and germplasm problems. Imle developed budding techniques for the rapid production of commercial plants with a vigorous rootstock, a high-yielding stem and a blight-resistant crown.