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Charles Allen Black papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 9/9/62

Scope and Content

This collection (1942-2002, undated) contains photographs of students, colleagues, and research projects. The papers also include correspondence with colleagues, researchers and publishers. In addition, there are notes from courses, lectures and research. The collection also contains of biographical information and news clippings.


  • 1941-2002, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Charles A. Black was born on January 22, 1916 in Lone Tree, Iowa. He received his B.S. (1937) from Colorado State University in chemistry and soil science, and his M.S. (1938) and his Ph.D. (1942) from Iowa State College (University) in soil fertility.

He joined the staff of Iowa State College (University) as an Instructor (1939-1943) in agronomy, and was promoted to Assistant Professor (1944-1946), Associate Professor (1946-1949), and Professor (1949-1980). The University honored Dr. Black by naming him the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture (1967). Dr. Black retired from Iowa State in 1979. However, he continued to teach as an Adjunct Professor until 1985.

He was a member of several professional organizations and honor societies such as Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, American Society of Agronomy (President, 1971), Soil Science Society of America (President, 1962), and the International Society of Soil Science. In 1975, he was named an honorary member of the Soil Science Society of America. Dr. Black was the first president and founding member of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). He was also a member of the Agricultural Research Institute, National Academy of Science, the National Research Council, and a fellow of the American Institute of Chemists.

Among the numerous awards granted to Dr. Black are the Soil Science Award (1957) and the Agronomic Service Award (1986) from the American Society of Agronomy, and the Bouyoucos Soil Science Distinguished Career Award (1981) and the Soil Science Distinguished Award (1992) from the Soil Science Society of America. Dr. Black was also honored by Iowa State with the Henry A. Wallace Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture. In addition, CAST presented him with the first Charles A. Black Award for Exemplary Contributions to Public Understanding of Food and Agricultural Science and Technology (1986), which CAST named in his honor.

Dr. Black’s research focused on soil phosphorus. He published many papers and edited two books relating to agronomy, Agronomy in a Changing World; and, Research Needs for the Seventies (1971) and Methods of Soil Analysis (1965).

Charles Black died on July 6, 2002.


3.0 Linear Feet (3 record cartons)


The collection is organized in its original order.

Items in related collections

RS 9/9. Iowa State University. Department of Agronomy records, 1903-2013

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 9/9/62. Charles Allen Black papers, 1941-2002, undated
February 26, 2019
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