Mann Digital Collections

Mann Library develops, hosts, and maintains digital collections valuable to research in many fields, including agriculture, agribusiness, demographics, and sociology, to name a few. Together, these collections provide current information as well as important historical materials. All of Mann’s online digital collections are open to the general public and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Additionally, Mann Library administers or participates in providing access to digital collections for the developing world.

The collections listed below include some of the more noteworthy ones, but many more can be found on the main Cornell University Library digital collections site.

Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA)

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CHLA is a core digital collection of historical books and journals on United States agriculture and rural life published between the early nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. The collection covers a range of agricultural sciences, forestry, food science, human nutrition, and rural sociology. It includes scientific texts, handbooks, memoirs, local government publications, transactions of early agricultural societies, government publications, and farm journals.

CHLA Highlights

Modern Farmer coverPart of the Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) collection, the Modern Farmer was first and foremost a periodical release of current news of interest to African American farming households. Its purpose was to share information that would advance the efforts of the National Federation of Colored Farmers (NFCF) in building the capacity of America’s Black farmers to prosper. Founded in 1922 by a group of African American entrepreneurs and attorneys led by broker James P. Davis and heavily influenced by the teachings and philosophy of Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute, the NFCF had an initial early focus on building cooperatives and procurement/distribution networks. Over the years, as it became clear that (yet again) Black farmers were being excluded from the benefits of New Deal legislation and programs, the Federation also turned attention and energy towards strengthening African American farmers’ political clout. Mann is the only library with the entire print run of this rare and important piece of African American history in its collection.

To learn more, please visit The Modern Farmer Libguide.

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH)

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HEARTH is a core digital collection of historic books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines published between 1850 and 1950. It includes the full text of these materials, as well as bibliographies and essays on the wide array of subjects relating to Home Economics. The Comstock Entomology Collection is a virtual collection of materials formerly housed in the Comstock Memorial Library of Entomology. In 2012, the Comstock collection was integrated into the main life sciences collection housed at Mann Library.

HEARTH Highlights

Delineator coverPart of the HEARTH collection, The Delineator was a popular women's magazine published from 1873 to 1937 that reached over two million readers at its height. Martha Van Rensselaer, who co-led Cornell’s Department of Home Economics at its beginnings, served as its home economics editor from 1919 to 1926. At the time of her editorship, The Delineator ranked among the top five women's magazines in the nation. It began as the brainchild of Ebenezer Butterick to market his paper sewing patterns and provide fashion news to post-Civil War middle-class American women. That focus soon shifted toward a broader look at the changing roles of women and their gradual move toward activities outside of the home, including the professions and reforms associated with the Progressive movement of the early twentieth century. At the same time, The Delineator championed women's role as protectors of conservative family values in a rapidly changing America.

Hive and the Honeybee

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The Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Mann Library is one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world. The Hive and the Honey Bee digital collection offers a subset of this collection that has been digitized.

Hive & Honeybee Highlights

American Bee Journal coverPart of the Hive and the Honeybee digital collection, the American Bee Journal (ABJ) is the first English-language journal devoted to the beekeeping field, and has been in print since 1861. The publication has featured contributions by such major apiculturists as L.L. Langstroth, Henry Alley, Moses Quinby and A.I. Root. Langstroth developed and patented the movable-frame hive in 1852, recognizing the importance of bee space for optimal hive design. Langstroth also kept a detailed journal recording his observations. Mann Library holds a handwritten copy of a manuscript written from 1852 until approximately 1862, digitized and made available online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library