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University of Florida IFAS Research Records

Identifier: Series 090

Scope and Content

The University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Research Records are divided into three Subseries.

Subseries 1: Dean for Research is further divided into six further subseries including:

Subseries 1a "Administrative Policy Records, 1905-2005 (bulk 1950-2005)" contains the administrative records of the Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. The title of this position was changed to Dean for Research after the creation of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in 1968. It is divided into further subseries chronologically and by accession.

Subseries 1b "Correspondence with the Board of Control by the Agricultural Experiment Station Office of the Director (formerly Series 089), 1906-1936" contains correspondence between Florida's Board of Control (predecessor to the Board of Regents) and the Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Florida in Gainesville. During its early years, the Board of Control communicated directly with the head of the Station on matters related to the operations of the Station, agricultural extension work, and the Farmers Institutes. After the mid 1930s, contact between the Board and the Station Director was limited to routine budget review.

Subseries 1c: "University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Letterbooks (formerly Series 088), 1889-1906" contains a set of letterbooks containing outgoing letters from staff of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station. (Incoming correspondence may be found in Subseries 1d). The series contains letters of the following staff members: Peter Henry Rolfs, Horticulturalist; H. Harold Hume, Horticulturalist; A. A. Persons, Chemist; H. K. Miller, Chemist; J. M. Pickell, Chemist; H. A. Gossard, Entomologist; Horace E. Stockbridge, Professor of Agriculture.

All but a few of the letters were written when the Station was located at the Florida Agricultural College in Lake City. The nature of the correspondence is similar to that in Subseries 1d.; however, this subseries does not include letters from any of the Station directors. During this time period, most staff at the Station had teaching responsibilities at the Agricultural College in addition to their research duties. Interspersed with Station correspondence are reports and letters regarding teaching conditions at the Florida Agricultural College.

Each volume, except volumes 9 and 10, contains an index of correspondents.

Addendum: Six additional letterbooks (2 of Rolfs, 3 of Hume, and Stockbridge's letterbook) were discovered in the library's limited circulation area in 1997. These volumes have not been filmed.

Subseries 1d: "General Correspondence of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (formerly Series 087), 1889-1924" contains general correspondence of the Director and staff of Florida's Agricultural Experiment Station. There are few letters for the first three years. From 1892 until 1899, all but a few of the letters are addressed to P. H. Rolfs, who was then a horticulturalist at the Station and an instructor at the Florida Agricultural College at Lake City. Rolfs left in 1899, and the succeeding correspondence is addressed to other staff members, including H. Harold Hume, A. A. Persons, and H. A. Gossard. Until 1906, all letters in this series are incoming. Outgoing letters may be found in Subseries 1c, Letterbooks. After 1906, both incoming and outgoing mail is included.

Most of the correspondence is with individual farmers concerning specific problems and farming methods. There is also considerable correspondence with people from other states who had bought or were contemplating buying land in Florida and who were requesting information on suitable areas for citrus groves and other farm crops. Communication with the Florida Department of Agriculture and letters related to the Farmers' Institutes are also found.

Arranged by year and then alphabetically by the correspondents' names.

From 1889-1907, both the original letters and a microfilm copy exist. Researchers are required to use the film copy first. After 1907, only film reproductions are available. Document filming was done by a reprographics unit in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in the 1970s.

Subseries 1e: "Bound Financial Records of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (formerly Series 029), 1891-1915" contains a ledger for the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station and its sub-stations in Fort Meyers and DeFuniak Springs and two "voucher records".

Subseries 1f: "Budget Records of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (formerly Series 102), 1909-1929" contains budget information related to the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Florida. The series includes annual budgets (plus a few biennial budgets) and annual financial reports to the USDA's Office of Experiment Stations. Also included are a few budget projections and other miscellaneous records. The records in this series were found with other records of the Vice President for Agricultural Affairs from the 1960s.

Subseries 2: Research and Education Centers (REC) is further divided into five subseries including:

Subseries 2a: "Records of the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Branch Stations, Field Laboratories, Research and Education Centers, and other Field Units (formerly Series 095), 1917-1971" contains official and personal records, primarily correspondence, from many of the twenty or more branch units affiliated with the University of Florida's agricultural program. This material documents the struggle to establish research stations in all parts of Florida, each specializing in experimentation in one or two classes of crops or livestock raised commercially in its area of the state. Additionally, these records reveal the growth and development or, in some instances, the transformation or abandonment of these branch stations as the state reacted to changes in the agricultural economy.

This material provides information respecting the actual experiments conducted in the various stations and thus serves as a general indicator of the major problems of the agricultural industries for the years in question as well as a window on past methodologies in science. The series provides a record of the relative importance of the various commercial varieties of fruits and vegetables grown and the principal breeds of livestock raised throughout the period. It also documents the field units' more recent role as centers of local agricultural education.

The subseries consists of records which were assembled by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and microfilmed. Reels 44-58 contain the records of individual stations from the inception of each station through 1949. (Each reel contains records for only one station.) Reels 59-70 contain the same types of records for all the stations combined from 1950 through 1971. Reels 71-73 contain records from what had been termed Field Laboratories at the time the records were filmed.

Correspondence dates are not necessarily inclusive and should be used as an earliest date guide only.

Subseries 2b: "Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory Records (formerly Series 190), 1935-2002" contains administrative files, correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, newspaper clippings, drawings, and student papers.

The records are divided further into two subseries. The first primarily contains administrative records, correspondence, and reports from the Marine Lab dating from 1935 to 2002. The second contains student papers dating from 1955 to 1999. Many of these papers include abstracts which can be viewed here. Due to privacy concerns, this series has restricted access. Please consult an archivist before viewing these records.

Subseries 2c: "Welaka Research and Education Center (formerly Series 084), 1933-1957 (bulk 1940-1954)" contains an incomplete record set of the Welaka Research and Education Center. The subseries is most complete for the period 1940-1954 and contains annual reports, budgets, and correspondence relating to all camp functions. Of special note are detailed records of logging operations, current wage scales by occupation, as well as files on quail breeding, ostrich breeding and storax collecting, illustrating the Camp Superintendent’s experimental attempts to augment and exploit the preserve's resources.

Subseries 2d: "Chipley Dairy Unit (formerly Series 107), 1952-1971" contains correspondence and other records documenting the early history, development, and demise of the Chipley Dairy Unit.

Subseries 2e: "Hastings Potato Investigation Laboratory (formerly Series 109), 1923-1932" contains correspondence and other records documenting the early history and development of the Hastings Potato Investigation Laboratory.

Subseries 2f: "Ordway-Swisher Biological Station, 1980" contains a scrapbook for the dedication of the Katharine Ordway Preserve.

Subseries 2g: "Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, 1900-1940" contains 39 postcards.

Subseries 3: Departments is further divided into one subseries:

Subseries 3a: "Soil and Water Sciences, 1899-1993 (bulk: 1951-1969)" primarily contains progress reports and laboratory data from the Soil and Water Sciences department.


  • Creation: 1889 - 2005



University Archives collections are available for research. Portions of the collections may be restricted due to the requirements of applicable state and federal laws, including but not limited to FERPA and HIPAA, and in accordance with best practices as defined by the Society of American Archivists.

Researchers are required to use the microfilm copies of materials if they exist first, before looking that original materials.

Due to privacy concerns, access to the student papers in Subseries 2b. Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory Records is restricted. Request permission from an archivist to view these records.

Biographical / Historical

The research mission of UF/IFAS, conducted under the auspices of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (FAES), is to discover new scientific knowledge, encourage innovative study and create applications based on sound science that address challenges facing agriculture, natural resources, and interrelated human systems in Florida, our country, and the world.

FAES was founded in 1887 at Florida Agricultural College in Lake City, the state’s original land-grant institution. When UF officially began operations in fall 1906, FAES was relocated to Gainesville. The first FAES director in Gainesville was Peter Rolfs, and the first UF president, Andrew Sledd, was a former FAES director; the campus academic building Rolfs Hall and dormitory Sledd Hall are named for the two.

The first off-campus FAES facility was the Citrus Research and Education Center (REC), established in 1917 to aid the state’s citrus growers. It was followed by the Everglades REC, North Florida REC, and the Tropical REC, all of which were established in the 1920s. Additional facilities were opened in the decades that followed, increasing the FAES statewide presence.


Agricultural Experiment Station Directors:

J. Kost: 1887-1889 James P. DePass: 1889-1893 O. Clute: 1893-1897 W.F. Yocum: 1897-1901 T.H. Toliaferro: 1901-1904 Andrew Sledd: 1904-1906 Peter Henry Rolfs: 1906-1921 Wilmon Newell: 1921-1943 Harold Mowry: 1943-1950 Willard Fifield: 1950-1956 Joseph R. Beckenbach: 1956-1968 John W. Sites (Dean of Research, IFAS): 1968-1976 [Note: all people listed after this point are Dean of Research, IFAS] Howard Wilkowske: 1977-78 Francis Aloysius Wood: 1978-1986 Vernon Perry: 1986-1987 James M. Davidson: 1987-1992 Neal Thompson: 1992-1994 Joseph Joyce: 1994-1995 Richard Jones: 1995-2007 Mark McLellan: 2007-2011 John Hayes: 2011-2014 Douglas Archer and Mary Duryea (co-Research Deans): 2014-2014 Jackie Burns: 2014-2018 Robert Gilbert: 2018-

Director of the Agricultural/Cooperative Extension Service/Dean for Extension:

Peter Henry Rolfs: 1914-1921 Wilmon Newell: 1921-1943 Harold Mowry: 1943-1944 Arthur Spencer: 1944-1947 Harold Gray Clayton: 1947-1957 Marshall Watkins: 1957-1970 Joe Busby (Dean for Extension): 1970-1976 [Note: all people listed after this point are Dean for Extension, IFAS] John Woeste: 1976-1995 Christine Stephens (became Christine Waddill): 1995-2004 Larry Arrington: 2004-2009 Millie Ferrer-Chancy: 2009-2012 Nick Place: 2012-2020 Thomas Obreza: 2020-2021 Andra Johnson: 2021-


218.7 Linear feet (241 boxes, 28 volumes, and 73 microfilm reels)

Language of Materials



Series 90 contains the administrative records of the University of Florida Dean for Research (previously designated Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station prior to 1968), Research and Education Center (REC) records, and department records.

Physical Location

Please note that the majority of 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.

Processing Information

Series 90, 89, 88, 87, 29, 102, 95, 107, 109, 190, and 84 were merged together in June 2022.

A Guide to the University of Florida IFAS Research Records
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
September 2010 (Updated June 2022)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • June 2022: Series 90, 89, 88, 87, 29, 102, 95, 107, 109, 190, and 84 were merged together. Also a major addition of unprocessed materials belong to the Dean of Research subseries admin policy records and Soil Science Department were processed and added.
  • August 2022: Added Katharine Ordway Preserve Scrapbook.

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