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Iowa State University. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences records

 Record Group — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/1

Scope and Content

The collection consists of materials related to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University. Records include news clippings, annual reports, newsletters, brochures, publications, subject files, biographical files, Agricultural Development Progress records, faculty minutes, centers and Institutes records, administrative records, and records of the Office of International Programs.


  • 1869-2019, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Agriculture has always been a part of Iowa State University. The university was originally established as an agricultural college (Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm) in 1858, and this remains one of the university’s main emphases. The Iowa Agricultural College (IAC) was the first land-grant college established, and Iowa was the first state to accept the provisions of the Morrill Act in 1862.

Iowa Agricultural College officially opened in 1869 as the first coed land-grant institution in the nation. It has been the home of many other firsts in agricultural education as well. The first extension programs offered by a land-grant institution were conducted by President Adonijah S. Welch in 1870. The following year, the first laboratory work in the nation was established in undergraduate botany instruction. The first forestry courses in the nation were offered in 1874. The college also offered the nation’s first course in dairying in 1880. Horticulture was the first agricultural discipline to be organized as a separate department (1887). In 1888, the Iowa Experiment Station was established after the approval of the Hatch Act in 1887, and the nation’s first course in bacteriology was offered at IAC. In 1898, Iowa Agricultural College was renamed Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. The Division of Agriculture was organized under Charles Curtiss that year as well.

During the early 1900s, extension work truly began — the first of its kind in the nation — with the first county cooperative experimental extension farm opening in Sioux County in 1903. In 1902, the nation’s first master’s degree in farm mechanics was granted. Another first in the nation, a professional agricultural engineering department and degree program was created in 1905. The 1930s ushered in a couple more firsts with The first laboratory to apply statistical methods to agricultural research established in 1933 and the first regional swine breeding farm in the nation, which opened in 1937.

In 1959, Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts became Iowa State University of Science and Technology, and the Division of Agriculture became the College of Agriculture. The name of the college was changed in 2007 to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


105.21 Linear Feet (17 document boxes, 8 half-document boxes, 65 record center boxes, 16 card file boxes, 2 oversize volumes, 1 oversize box, and 1 map case folder)

Items in related collections

RS 9/2/8. Iowa State University. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development records, 1958-2010 RS 9/1/5. Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture records, 1977-2018, undated RS 9/1/11. James A. “Tama” Wilson papers, 1887-1986 RS 9/1/12. Charles F. Curtiss papers, 1885-2009, undated RS 9/1/14. Floyd Andre papers, 1933-1979, undated RS 9/1/13. Henry Herbert Kildee papers, 1913-1973, undated

RS 9/1. Iowa State University. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences records, 1869-2019
July 1, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672