International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records

Map of Africa showing areas of screwworm infestation in green Introduction

The International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records occupy 4.5 linear feet in 8 letter sized document boxes and 1 legal sized document box. The collection contains materials dating from 1954 to 2002, with bulk dates 1976 to 2000. This is an artificial collection, meaning that the Special Collections staff composed it from several separate, yet related, donations. Materials in this collection were donated by John Bertram Welch, Don E. Hendricks, Paul Thomas Stanford, and Dan Haile, all involved with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) screwworm eradication efforts. Materials are in good condition and there are no restrictions on use. Items written in Spanish are noted as such on the Container List. This collection was arranged and described in 2007 by Lindsey Loeper, a graduate student assistant from the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Additional materials were incorporated in 2009 by Mark Levengood, student employee, History Department, University of Maryland, College Park.


Disclaimer

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.


Historical Sketch

Below is a timeline of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) screwworm research highlights.

1858: First reported screwworm cases on Devil's Island, French Guiana

1933: Emory Clayton Cushing and Walter S. Patton recognized screwworm fly as its own species, Cochliomyia hominivorax (different from the blowfly species)

1934: USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) established research station at Valdosta, Georgia (closed 1936) to conduct research on screwworms by scientists Ernest William Laake and Edward Fred Knipling

1935: ARS secured funding for research on screwworms. Raymond C. Bushland began research on artificial diets for rearing screwworms.

1937: Bushland and Knipling are transferred to ARS laboratory in Menard, Texas. Bushland began research on controlling screwworms through chemical means. Knipling began research on sterile male technique, an autocidal theory of total insect population management.

1938: USDA developed Smear 62, an insecticidal wound treatment

1939: Bushland is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on mosquito control

1940: Knipling is transferred to Orlando, Florida, to conduct research on insects affecting man

1946: Bushland transferred to ARS laboratory in Kerrville, Texas. Knipling transferred to USDA-ARS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

1950: Arthur W. Lindquist introduced Knipling to Hermann Joseph Muller's research on genetic mutations in fruit flies by radiation. Bushland and Donald E. Hopkins began tests on sterilization of screwworms using radiation.

1951: Alfred H. Baumhover arrived at Kerrville, Texas, to work on screwworm eradication using sterile male technique. Sanibel Island, Florida, was the first field test to use the sterile male technique.

1954: Baumhover traveled to Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, and began successful screwworm eradication campaign using sterile male technique

1955: Baumhover returned to Orlando, Florida, to work on eradication of screwworms from the Southeast United States. Mass rearing techniques were developed.

1955-1957: A mass fly production facility for rearing screwworms is built in Bithlo, Florida. Screwworms successfully eradicated in a 2000 square mile field test area near Orlando, Florida.

1958: ARS built mass fly production facility near Sebring, Florida

1959: Screwworms successfully eradicated from the Southeast United States

1962: ARS Southwest United States screwworm eradication program began with flies produced at the Kerrville, Texas, ARS laboratory. Mass production facility built at Mission, Texas.

1963: ARS developed program specializations. Billy Gene Hightower studied screwworm ecology in Texas. Alfred H. Baumhover studied sterile fly distribution. Leo E. LaChance studied screwworm genetics. Maxwell M. Crystal studied chemosterilants.

1964: Baumhover transferred to Oxford, North Carolina, to work with the Tobacco Insects Investigations

1966: USDA declared screwworms eradicated from Southwest United States, except Texas continued to be infested until 1982. United States and Mexico conducted a feasibility survey for a screwworm eradication program in Mexico, which resulted in the establishment of a screwworm eradication program in Mexico.

1974: The Lincoln-Eden Report, "The Southwestern Screwworm Eradication Program: A Review," is published. Charles G. Lincoln and William Gibbs Eden were tasked with evaluating the Southwestern United States Screwworm Eradication program after poor results spanning 1972-1974. They concluded that the program was a success despite some minor faults and the research should continue.

1977: The ARS Screwworm Research Unit relocated from the Mission, Texas, laboratory to a sterile fly production facility near Tuxtla Gutierrez in Chiapas, Mexico

1984: A new gelled diet is developed by ARS for use in mass rearing screwworms

1990: "Severn Run's Cazador," a German wirehaired pointer, is trained by John Bertram Welch to detect screwworm larvae and screwworm infested animals

1991: Mexico was declared screwworm free

1994: Screwworms eradicated from Belize and Guatemala. Panama City, Republic of Panama, became the headquarters for the USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit.

1995: Screwworms eradicated from El Salvador

1996: Screwworms eradicated from Nicaragua

1999: Screwworms eradicated from Honduras

2000: Costa Rica declared screwworm free


Scope and Content Note

The materials in the International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records were produced by a wide range of governments and organizations around the world, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA, APHIS) and Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Countries represented in this collection include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, England, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, North Africa (including Libya), Panama, Paraguay, and the United States. Some records are organized by region, including Central America and the West Indies. For information on the screwworm eradication program in Mexico, please refer to Collection 212, Southwestern United States and Mexico: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. The collection spans 4.5 linear feet and all materials are in good condition. Collection materials date from 1954 to 2002, with the bulk of materials dating 1976-2000.

The majority of materials are progress reports detailing the results of eradication programs. Laboratory data, newspaper clippings, professional journals, and e-mail newsletters are also included. The materials have been divided into two series. Series I contains the bulk of the collection materials and is arranged alphabetically by country or region. Series II is composed of weekly e-mail newsletters distributed by Harold C. Hofman; the newsletters detail weekly progress on screwworm eradication programs around the world.

Several other Screwworm Eradication Program Records collections contain international program materials. Please see Appendix B for an abbreviated listing.


Series Description

Series I. Research Files. 1954-2002. 8.5 boxes.

Series I contains the majority of the collection materials. Informational materials produced within foreign screwworm eradication programs, or produced with a foreign country as audience, are included here. Formats include research progress reports, published reports, program descriptions and administrative documents, correspondence, published professional journals, newspaper clippings, research data, surveys, maps, and facility descriptions. Also included is software that was developed to simulate screwworm eradication trials based on weather patterns and the size of the natural screwworm population. A 3.5" floppy disk containing the program, titled "Screwworm Fly Simulation," is included along with an instruction manual and report. This series is arranged alphabetically by the name of the country or region.

Series II. Weekly News Items. 2000-2001. .5 box.

The second series in this collection contains weekly e-mail newsletters that contain summaries of international screwworm eradication research including a count of screwworm cases. Compiled by Harold C. Hofman, Assistant Regional Director of the eradication program in Panama, these emails were saved by Lynn Stewart, NAL Special Collections Librarian. The documents reflect newsletters sent from January 2000 through May 2001.


Bibliography

Information for the Historical Sketch and the Scope and Content Note was taken from the following sources:

USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit. "Screwworm Research Unit: Panama City, Panama." Accessed June 8, 2007 from http://www.screwworm.ars.usda.gov/index.html.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Special Collections, National Agricultural Library. "STOP Screwworms: Selections from the Screwworm Eradication Collection." Accessed October 14, 2003 from http://specialcollections.nal.usda.gov/screwworm/index.

Southwestern United States and Mexico: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.


Bibliography

Information for the Historical Sketch and the Scope and Content Note was taken from the following sources:

USDA-ARS Screwworm Research Unit. "Screwworm Research Unit: Panama City, Panama." Accessed June 8, 2007 from http://www.screwworm.ars.usda.gov/index.html.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Special Collections, National Agricultural Library. "STOP Screwworms: Selections from the Screwworm Eradication Collection." Accessed October 14, 2003 from http://specialcollections.nal.usda.gov/screwworm/index.

Southwestern United States and Mexico: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211. Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.


Appendix A: Related Collections

Listed below are screwworm related manuscript collections housed in Special Collections, National Agricultural Library as of June 2007:

Artifacts: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 348.

Audiovisual Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 215.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266.

Graham, Owen Hugh, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 213.

Husman, Chester N., Awards: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 349.

International Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 355.

Knipling, Edward Fred, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 210.

Oral Histories: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 305.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214.

Severn Run's Cazador (Caz), Screwworm Detection Dog, Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 310.

Southeastern United States Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 212.

Southwestern United States and Mexico Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211.

USDA Entomology Research Division Records. Manuscript Collection 237.

Wyss, John, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 338.


Appendix B: Related International Screwworm Materials

Listed below are screwworm related manuscript collections that contain materials regarding international screwworm eradication programs or research. All are housed in Special Collections, National Agricultural Library.

Baumhover, Alfred H., Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 266.
This collection contains substantial information on research efforts in Curacao.

Graham, Owen Hugh, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 213.
Owen Hugh Graham collected materials from North Africa, Mexico, and Central America.

Knipling, Edward Fred, Papers: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 210.
Edward Fred Knipling was active in screwworm research throughout his career with the USDA and often consulted on international programs. A wide range of countries are represented in this collection.

Southwestern United States and Mexico Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 211.
Information regarding the eradication of the screwworm from Mexico is located in this collection.

Southeastern United States Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 212.
Although primarily focused on Florida and other southeastern states, information on research in Curacao can also be found in this collection. Research in these two areas was carried out during a similar time period and involved many of the same staff members and scientists.

Promotional Materials: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 214.
The Promotional Materials collection contains items from a wide range of countries, with particular emphasis on North and Central America.

Oral Histories: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 305.
This collection includes substantial information on the program in Mexico, as well as discussion on North Africa and Central America.

Severn Run's Cazador (Caz), Screwworm Detection Dog, Collection: Screwworm Eradication Program Records. Manuscript Collection 310.
Severn Run's Cazador was trained in Costa Rica and later went on to serve screwworm programs in North and Central America.