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Home / Henry M. Beachell and Charles N. Bollich Field Notebooks

Henry M. Beachell and Charles N. Bollich Field Notebooks


The Henry Monroe “Hank” Beachell and Charles Nelson Bollich Rice Field Notebooks cover the period from the 1932-1991. The collection occupies 22 linear feet of shelf space. The materials were transferred to NAL from the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center (U.S.) in 2016. The materials in the collection are in fair to good condition. Diane Wunsch arranged and described the collection in 2017. Sara Lee formatted the collection guide for the web in 2020.

Biographical Sketch

Henry M. (Hank) Beachell (1906-2006) was a researcher and plant breeder who worked simultaneously for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Beaumont, Texas. During his career at the experiment station, which began in 1932, he bred and introduced nine rice varieties. Beachell’s varieties eventually accounted for more than 90 percent of U.S. long-grain rice production.

After retiring from USDA in 1963, Beachell accepted a position at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRC)in the Philippines, where he was involved in the development of the IR8 rice variety that set yield records in several Asian field experiments. He is credited with helping alleviate malnutrition and poverty because of his role in developing, improving, and promoting the high-yield IR8 rice. In 1996, Beachell and his collaborator Dr. Gurdev Singh Khush shared the prestigious World Food Prize.

Charles N. Bollich (born 1926) joined USDA in 1958 as an agronomist, developing disease-resistant rice cultivars at an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility in Crowley, Louisiana. He transferred to the USDA-ARS Rice Research Unit at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station in Beaumont, Texas in 1963 to head the federal/state rice breeding program. In 1972, he became the research leader for that unit.

During his career, Bollich led the development of 16 rice cultivars that are internationally recognized for their superior quality and high yields. His research led to the discovery of various genetic factors in grain quality, disease resistance, and insect resistance in rice.

Bollich received numerous honors and awards for his scientific work, including the Agronomic Achievement Award from the American Society of Agronomy and the Rice Foundation’s Meritorious Service Award. He was inducted into the USDA-ARS Science Hall of Famein 1994 for his contributions to rice breeding and genetics. He retired from USDA in 1991.

Scope and Content Note

The Henry M. Beachell and Charles N. Bollich Rice Research Field Notebooks consist of approximately 600 bound notebooks in which the researchers recorded field data from experimental rice crops from 1932 to 1991. The collection also includes Beachell’s daily field diaries from 1943 to 1959.

Container List

Field Notebooks. 1932-1991.
Box Date Range
001 1932-1942
002 1943-1946
003 1946-1948
004 1949-1950
005 1950-1952
006 1953-1954
007 1954-1955
008 1955-1956
009 1956-1957
010 1957-1958
011 1958-1959
012 1959-1960
013 1960-1961
014 1961-1962
015 1962-1963
016 1963-1964
017 1964-1966
018 1966-1967
019 1967-1968
020 1968-1970
021 1970-1971, 1971-1973 (Puerto Rico)
022 1972-1973
023 1974-1975
024 1975-1977
025 1977-1979
026 1979-1980
027 1980-1982
028 1982
029 1983
030 1983-1984
031 1984-1985
032 1985
033 1986
034 1986-1987
035 1987-1988
036 1988-1989
037 1989-1990
038 1990-1991
039 1991, undated
040 1932-1935 oversize
041 1936-1941 oversize

Sources Used for Finding Aid:

United States, Agricultural History Branch. Century of Service: The First 100 Years of the United States Department of Agriculture. (Washington, DC: Centennial Committee, USDA, 1963).

MS 51 – Dorsett-Morse Oriental Agricultural Exploration Expedition Collection, 1914-1945.

MS 70 – Eldon C. Beagle Papers, 1939-1983.

MS 120 - Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection, 1773-2020.

MS 242 – USDA Bureau of Plant Industry Records, 1920-1950.

MS 245 – USDA Division of Cereal Crops and Diseases Photograph Collection, 1898-1951.

MS 280 – Collection of Expedition Photographs from the Office of Plant Exploration, 1910-1945.

MS 295 – Frank N. Meyer Collection, 1905-1918.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) holds several collections relating to rice research. The online finding aids catalog may be found as follows:

54.3.7 Records of the Division of Cereal Crops and Diseases (1879-1956) accessed here:

188.8.7 Seeds and Rice Section (1942-1946), Records of the Office of Price Administration accessed here:

310.5. Records of the Southern Regional Research Center (1939-1969), Agricultural Research Service accessed here:

For Further Research on the History of Rice Research:

Beachell, Henry M. Report on Mechanization and Organization of Rice Production in British Guiana. London?: Colonial Office, 1950.

Beachell, Henry M. The Use of X-Ray and Thermal Neutrons in Producing Mutations in Rice. Washington, 1956.

Beyond Ir8: Irr's Second Decade. Los Banos: The Institute, 1980.

Bollich, C.N. ARS
Science Hall of Fame 1994 Honoree, Charles N. Bollich, Beaumont, Tx. Washington, D.C.?: ARS, 1995.

Bollich, C.N, Betty J. Johnson, Irvin M. May, R D. Lewis, and James Cozine. Agricultural Oral History Interview with Charles N. Bollich, Betty J. Johnson., 1975.

McLean, Beth B. The Story of Rice: The World's Most Popular Food. New Orleans, La.: Home Economics Dept., Southern Rice Industry, 1934.

Pingali, Prabhu L, and Mahabub Hossain. Impact of Rice Research. Manila: International Rice Research Institute, 1998.

Rice. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Radio Service, 1938.

Rice Breeding: Papers Presented at the Symposium on Rice Breeding Held from September 6 to 10, 1971 at the International Rice Research Institute. Manila: International Rice Research Institute, 1972.

Sutmöller, P. Information Retrieval Programs Ir8-Ir9. Greenport, N.Y: Plum Island Animal Disease Laboratory, Veterinary Sciences Research Division, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1980.

Stubbs, William C., W.R. Dodson, and Charles A. Browne. Rice: History, Preparation of Soil, Planting, Flooding, Harvesting, Noxious Weeds in the Rice Fields ; Feeding Rice Bran and Rice Polish and Determination of Digestible Nutrients. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State Board of Agriculture and Immigration, 1904.

Webb, B.D., C.N. Bollich, N.E. Jodon, T.H. Johnson, and D.H. Bowman. Evaluating the Milling, Cooking, and Processing Characteristics Required of Rice Varieties in the United States. Washington: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1972.

Webb, B.D., C.N. Bollich, and J.W. Stansel. Semidwarfs - a New Era in Rice Production, 1984.