The United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) and the National Agricultural Library developed A National Preservation Program for Agricultural Literature in 1993. As part of this effort, with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) from 1996 to 2008 the Preserving the History of United States Agriculture and Rural Life: State and Local Literature project enabled 29 states to take responsibility for the preservation of their own state and local literature. This resulted in the systematic identification of the universe of state and local level published literature in each participating state, not just the titles held in each of the participating libraries. In each participating land-grant library a panel of scholars and librarians evaluated and ranked the resulting bibliography in terms of the importance for research in social, cultural, and economic history. Each library then preserved those titles judged by the panel to be most important for current and future research.
Documents in this collection are organized around each phase of the project. Each participating state provided a historical essay describing their state's agriculture and rural life. A bibliography (and in some cases, a ranked one) was created by each state. A final report was submitted for each phase.