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E. T. York Papers

Identifier: Series P25

Scope and Content

York's speeches cover his career from 1961, when he was head of the Federal Extension Service at the USDA, through 2005.

The records related to international agricultural missions document York's time as Chair of the Presidential Mission on Agricultural Development in Central America and the Caribbean during the Carter Administration and as Chair of the Board of International Food and Agricultural Development in the AID's International Development Cooperation Agency during the mid-1980s. The records also document his work as an agricultural consultant in several nations.

The records related to higher education governance document York's involvement in Education Excellence for Florida, which spearheaded Amendment 11, passed in 2002, creating the Florida Board of Governors. York was also involved with Floridians for Constitutional Integrity, which challenged the state's interpretation of Amendment 11 after it became state law. Also included in this section are earlier records related to the termination of the Florida Board of Regents.

The scrapbooks consist primarily of newspaper clippings and a few pieces of memorabilia. They cover York's career from his years as head of Federal Extension Service through his time as Chancellor of the State University System in Florida. Also includes a plaque and documentary film on E. T. York.


  • Creation: 1961-2007



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Biographical/Historical Note

Born in Valley Head, Alabama, in 1922, E. Travis York, known to most as E. T., completed his undergraduate work at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) and subsequently earned a master's in agronomy. He finished his graduate work at Cornell University and there developed an interest in alleviating world hunger. He served on the faculty of North Carolina State University and worked briefly in the private sector before accepting an appointment as director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service at Auburn in 1959. York became Administrator of the Federal Extension Service (FES) at the USDA in 1961. In 1963, York was hired as Provost for Agriculture at the University of Florida and soon launched a reorganization of UF's agricultural programs that led to the creation of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). He served as Vice President for Agricultural Affairs and was the university's executive vice president when President Stephen C. O'Connell stepped down in 1973. York then served the university as interim president until the arrival of Robert Q. Marston in 1974. Appointed Chancellor of the State University System in January, 1974, York retired in 1980 and devoted most of his remaining years to international programs aimed at reducing world hunger. He was active in Senator Bob Graham's successful campaign in 2002 to pass a Florida constitutional amendment compelling the state to maintain a governing board for its public universities. York died in 2011.


10 Linear feet (12 Boxes)

Language of Materials



Speeches and personal records of E. Travis York, an agronomist and professor who served as an administrator in the USDA and at the University of Florida and Auburn University. In his later career, he served as Chancellor of the State University System of Florida. York was a presidential advisor on agricultural development in six different administrations and later played an important role in the campaign to create a governing board for higher education in Florida.


The York Papers are arranged in four parts: Speeches, International Agricultural Missions Records, Higher Education Governance Records, and Scrapbooks, plaque, and documentary film.

Physical Location

Please note that this collection is housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.

Acquisition Information

Gift of E. Travis and Vermelle "Vam" York.

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of selected items in the E. T. York Papers are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.


"Agricultural development and economic progress in the Caribbean Basin: report of the Presidential Mission on Agricultural Development in Central America and the Caribbean," 1980.
"Operation DARE: a detailed report of Florida's agricultural resources and opportunities for development," 1966-1971. 630.9759F6363p
"A wonderful journey: from an Appalachian Mountain hillbilly to a Florida cracker," 1999. F316.23.Y5A3
"WARDA mid-term review: background materials from the CGIAR Secretariat," 1986. SB188.53.A358 W37
"Agricultural development in Nicaragua, with particular reference to the organization and programs of the Ministry of Agriculture, September-October, 1965: a report of a study, 1965. 280.2 Y61a
"Major international dimension for U. S. colleges of agriculture: an imperative," 1984. A 43.2:K72/2
A Guide to the E. T. York Papers
Finding aid created by Carl Van Ness and Peggy McBride
January 2018 (Updated November 2022)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America