Richard White Collection
The Richard White Collection, which covers the period 1905 to 1920, includes correspondence between the Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, H. J. Patterson, and the Superintendent of the Ridgely Sub-station, Charles Opperman. The two men discuss administrative details concerning the setup of the farm as an experiment sub-station, including questions about how expenses will be handled and what repairs should be made to the existing structures. The correspondence also contains descriptions of the experimental work taking place on the farm as well as plans for future work. In addition, the series contains an annual report from 1917 and two detailed inventories of items on the Ridgely property in 1917 and 1920. Maps show the boundaries of the farm and its field divisions. These materials date from 1914 to 1920. The collection also contains academic reports of Herbert James White, a student of the Maryland Agricultural College from 1905 until 1911.
Important Information for Users of the Collection
One folder, Grade Reports, contains restricted material and requires consultation with curator before viewing.
Richard White Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
This collection is PROCESSED.
Richard White graduated from the University of Maryland in 1934 with a degree in Entomology. The collection of papers he deposited with the University of Maryland Libraries contain materials about White's brother, Herbert James, and the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Substation at Ridgely, where White's brother, Albert, served as Superintendent from 1919 to 1943.
In 1914, the State of Maryland purchased a farm in Ridgely, Maryland, from the Caroline County School Board at a cost of $15,000 for fifty acres of land, one house, two tenant houses, a stable, and a few other outbuildings. The property was turned over to the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station on October 1, 1914, to be used as a sub-station that would supplement the work conducted at the Station's primary farm in College Park. Charles L. Opperman moved to the Ridgely Farm on September 10, 1914, assumed charge of the farm the same day it was turned over to the Experiment Station, and held the position of Superintendent until January 1, 1919, when he became Agricultural Editor for the Extension Department. Opperman's career in Maryland began on December 1, 1906, when the Experiment Station employed him as an assistant in poultry. He was promoted on July 1, 1909, to Associate Poultryman and resigned from that position a year later. Prior to his employment in Maryland, Opperman had been connected with Cornell University and the poultry departments of the Michigan and Iowa Experiment Stations.
Albert White succeeded Opperman as Superintendent of the Ridgely Farm, a position he held until his death on July 16, 1943. Albert was the son of Thomas H. and Annie Louisa White, who immigrated from England in 1888. From 1898 until his retirement in 1938, Thomas was employed by the Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1915, the Maryland Agricultural College awarded him an honorary degree of Master of Science in Horticulture. Albert was one of nine children, six of whom graduated from the University of Maryland: Herbert James, 1911, Chemistry; William Henry, 1913, Entomology; Albert, 1914, Horticulture; Robert, 1916, Chemistry; Charles Edward, 1926, Chemistry Ph.D.; and Richard Osmond, 1934, Entomology.
Kate, the only daughter of Thomas and Annie, worked in the university's library from 1918 until 1958. Herbert James was born in LaPlata, Charles County, Maryland, on September 5, 1890. Herbert began classes at the Maryland Agricultural College (M.A.C.) in 1905 as a preparatory student. According to the 1911 Reveille, Herbert was the first "day dodger" (a term used to describe a student who did not live on campus) to receive a commission at the Maryland Agricultural College. Charles became Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Maryland and later Professor Emeritus. The Charles E. White Chemistry Library is named in his honor.
Conrad Liden, Class of 1942, succeeded Albert White as assistant agronomist in charge of research work at the Ridgely Farm. The University of Maryland auctioned off the Ridgely experimental farm for $14,800 on January 11, 1948.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Richard White Collection, which covers the period 1905 to 1920, includes correspondence between the Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, H. J. Patterson, and the Superintendent of the Ridgely Sub-station, Charles Opperman, as well as four drawings of the Ridgely Farm plot and its field divisions. These materials date from 1914 to 1920. The collection also contains academic reports of Herbert James White, a student of the Maryland Agricultural College from 1905 until 1911.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
Richard White deposited the collection with the University of Maryland Libraries in 1973. Items were removed from Maryland Manuscripts (#427, 428, and 429) and added to the collection in 2003.
Processed by J. Osazuwa, June 1977. Reprocessed by Jennifer Evans, January 2003.
Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with acid-free strips covered by plastic clips. An oversize plat was unfolded, separated from the correspondence, and placed in a mapcase.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine and Jennifer Evans.
Arrangement of Collection
The Richard White Collection has been divided into two series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Ridgely Farm, 1914-1920 (74 items and 4 oversize items)
Series I is comprised primarily of correspondence between Charles Opperman and Harry J. Patterson, Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station (1898-1937). The two men discuss administrative details concerning the setup of the farm as an experiment sub-station, including questions about how expenses will be handled and what repairs should be made to the existing structures. The correspondence also contains descriptions of the experimental work taking place on the farm as well as plans for future work. In addition, the series contains an annual report from 1917 and two detailed inventories of items on the Ridgely property in 1917 and 1920. Maps show the boundaries of the farm and its field divisions.
Arrangement is alphabetical by type of material and then chronological.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame||Item|
|Annual Report, 1916-1917||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Correspondence, 1914-1918||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|Correspondence, 1914-1918||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|Correspondence, 1914-1918||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|Inventories, 1917 and 1920||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|Maps (Includes Oversize), 1914, 1916||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|[Plot showing lines of Ridgely Sub-Station Farm and division of farm into fields, 1914; (2 versions--rough sketch with pen and pencil annotations and finished version in ink only) (Oversize Only), 1914||series 1||box 1||folder 6||item 1|
|Plot showing lines of Ridgely Sub-Station Farm and division of farm into fields [graced by A. V. Williams], April 13, 1916 (2 copies) (Oversize Only), 1916||series 1||box 1||folder 6||item 2|
Series 2: Herbert James White, 1905-1911 (25 items)
The series contains Herbert's grade reports and monthly progress reports from his time as a student at the Maryland Agricultural College. Arrangement is alphabetical by type of material and then chronological.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Grade Reports, 1905-1911 [Restricted]||series 2||box 1||folder 7|
|Monthly Reports, 1905-1911||series 2||box 1||folder 8|
The History of Caroline County (1971 Maryland Reference F187.C2H67) contains a history of the town of Ridgely and a brief entry on the "state farm." Albert White's obituary appears in the Caroline Sun on July 17, 1943, and the University of Maryland's Alumni News mentions the death of Albert White on page three of the October 1943 issue. The University's yearbook, Reveille, also contains information and photographs of the White family children who graduated from the university. In the University of Maryland vertical file under "Farm," there is an article from the Baltimore Sun dated January 11, 1948, which announces the sale of the Ridgely Farm. The University of Maryland Libraries also hold the Papers of Charles E. White and the Records of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Accession 99-28 of the Agricultural Experiment Station records, in particular, contains correspondence and records pertaining to experiments carried out at Ridgely Farm. The Annual Reports of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station (University Publications UPUB A33.001) are useful for tracking personnel changes as well as background information on the purchase of the sub-station and the experiments instituted at Ridgely. C. S. Shaffner mentions C. L. Opperman in History of the Poultry Department, University of Maryland (University Publications UPUB P21); see Appendix B for a listing of publications written by Opperman. Within the photograph collection are images of White family members and Ridgely Farm; see Appendix A for a complete listing. The Leland Scott Collection, in addition, contains photographs of Albert White, Thomas White, and Ridgely Farm.
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
List of Related Photographs
Photograph Vertical File-University of Maryland
- Agricultural Experiment Station (all of the images below were taken in Ridgely, Maryland)
- #6288 unidentified buildings on the M.A.E.S. farm, n.d.
- #6289 spring plowing at the M.A.E.S. farm. Tenant house on left of picture, n.d.
- #6290 binder for harvesting wheat. Covers are on mules to guard against biting flies., ca. 1925
- #6291 loading hay into a barn loft, ca. 1925
- #6292 stacking wheat in stacks to be threshed later, ca. 1925
- #6293 Albert White adjusting a horse drawn row marker, ca. 1925
- #6294 Mr. and Mrs. Albert White (Superintendent of M.A.E.S. from 1919-1943), ca. 1925
- #6295 limed and unlimed clover plots, May 22, 1922
- #6296 turning under clover, May 22, 1922
- #6297 sweet potato storage house in background, [n.d.]
- #6298 Albert White examines the corn yield from test plots, [n.d.]
- #6299 rear of Superintendent's residence, ca. 1924
- #6300 barn, ca. 1927
- #6301 Superintendent's residence, [n.d.]
- #6302 cutting wheat, ca. 1926
- #6303 soil fertility plot after the storm of August 23, 1933
- #6304 south side view of the Superintendent's residence, [n.d.]
- #6305 soil fertility plot after the storm of August 23, 1933
Photograph Vertical File-Portraits
- White, Charles E., [n.d.]
- White, Kate, [n.d.]
- White, Thomas H., [n.d.]
Leland Scott Collection
- Inside view of pea vines in shed at Ridgely, 1938 [2 film negatives]
- Tomato mulch paper in seed bed rows, Ridgely, 1936 [film negative]
- [Albert White at Ridgely Farm, 1937?] [2 glass plate negatives]
- [Tom White in greenhouse with mums, November 17, 1905] [cyanotype]
- Thomas H. White, c. 1900, in greenhouse probably located near Rossborough Inn
- Thomas H. White, undated
- [Thomas H. White in greenhouse with mums] [also have negative], [n.d.]
Department of Horticulture
- Thomas H. White inside greenhouse, ca. 1900
Publications by C. L. Opperman
- With Harry Lamon, The Care of the Farm Egg, Washington, D.C.: U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, 1913
- With Harry Lamon, The Improvement of the Farm Egg, Washington, D.C.: U. S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry, 1911
- With Robert Henry Ruffner and S. S. Buckley, The Maryland Hog, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914 (publication #185)
- With Roy H. Waite, Some Experiments with Poultry, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914 (publication #157)
- Poultry House Construction and Its Influence on the Domestic Fowl, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914 (publication #146)
- With George Edward Gage, Nodular Taeniasis, or Tape-worm disease, of Fowls, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914 (publication #139)
- The Poultry Industry in Maryland with Suggestions for Successful Poultry Management, Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914 (publication #138)
Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Agricultural experiment stations -- Maryland -- Ridgely -- Archival Resources Resources
- Crops -- Maryland -- Archival Resources
- Ridgely Farm Substation -- Archives
Names (Added Entries)
- Opperman, C. L.
- Patterson, H. J. (Harry Jacob), 1866-1948
- White, Herbert James