Jacob Elry Metzger papers
Jacob E. Metzger came to the Maryland Agricultural College in 1914. He was a professor of agronomy and head of the Department of Agronomy, supervisor of the Agricultural Department of the Maryland High Schools for the State Department of Public Instruction, Agronomist of the Maryland Experiment Station, and acting director and director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station from 1937 to 1939. Metzger also established and directed the university's first summer school in 1914. Metzger took part in research and experiments which led to development of "beardless" barley, conducted research on a special type of turf grass for golf courses, and was a noted author of bulletins and articles on soil research and other related fields. His papers consist of speeches, research papers, and recollections on subjects related to his career. Topics include agriculture in Maryland, agricultural education in college and secondary schools, alfalfa, soils, and corn production in Maryland.
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Jacob Elry Metzger papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
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Jacob Elry Metzger was born on July 30, 1882, in Blair County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Pennsylvania State College in 1911 and came to the Maryland Agricultural College in 1914. He organized the Department of Agricultural Education and the Maryland Agricultural College's first summer school. The original purpose of the summer session, according to Metzger, was so that "field plots, laboratories, shops, libraries, livestock, orchards, instruction and other facilities used by the regular students of the college might be available to those who for any reason find it more convenient to attend during summer months." The first Summer School, held in 1914, hosted thirty-five courses; the number increased to forty-eight in 1915 (to accommodate 141 students). Metzger directed the Summer School for four years. He was also the supervisor of the Agricultural Department of the Maryland High Schools for the State Department of Public Instruction and wrote extensively about agricultural education.
In 1917, Metzger became head of the Department of Agronomy and Agronomist of the Experiment Station, holding both positions for over twenty years until his death. Metzger took part in research and experiments that led to development of "beardless" barley, conducted research on a special type of turf grass for golf courses, and was a noted author of bulletins and articles on soil research and other related fields. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the American Society of Agronomy, as well as the Academy of Political and Social Sciences. In 1930, Metzger was a United States Representative at the One-Hundredth Anniversary of Natural Nitrates, held at Santiago, Chile.
Active in campus life, Metzger was a member of the Athletic Board and the Scholarship Committee. He also served as president of the University of Maryland chapter of Phi Kappa Phi from 1930 to 1931 and was a president of the University of Maryland Chapter of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society, in 1935. In addition, he was a president of the Prince George's County Kiwanis Club and a member of the Mount Herman Masonic Lodge.
In 1929, the university appointed Metzger Assistant Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. When Dr. H. J. Patterson retired as Director of the station in 1937, Metzger assumed this position as Acting Director, while continuing in his position as head of the Department of Agronomy. In June 1939, he became Director of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. Metzger died on December 25, 1939, of a heart attack while on vacation in Florida. He was fifty-seven years old. His wife, Jane (Jennie) Butts Metzger, survived him.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Papers of Jacob Elry Metzger cover the period 1915 through 1938 and consist of typescripts and reprints of course lectures, radio talks, research papers, and addresses given by Metzger on subjects relating primarily to agriculture and agricultural education in Maryland. Other topics are more specific and deal with issues such as soil erosion, lawn management, crops, and international agricultural issues.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The Marylandia and Rare Books Department of the University of Maryland Libraries transferred the Papers of Jacob Elry Metzger to the Archives and Manuscripts Department in 1991. Metzger's widow, Jane Butts Metzger, donated the papers to the University of Maryland in 1940 as part of a larger book donation.
Processed by Jennie A. Levine, April 2003.
At some point prior to acquisition, the Papers of Jacob Elry Metzger were bound together in a hardcover binding. The papers remain in this binding, and items were separated and numbered by inserting a piece of acid-free paper before the first page of each article.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine and Jennifer Evans.
Arrangement of Collection
The Papers of Jacob Elry Metzger consist of one series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Writings and Lectures, 1915-1938 (1 vol.)
Series I is comprised of typescripts and reprints of course lectures, radio talks, research papers, and addresses given by Metzger on subjects relating primarily to agriculture and agricultural education in Maryland. The earlier papers, dating from approximately 1915 to 1925, deal almost exclusively with Metzger's opinions and studies on the topic of agricultural education at the high school and university level. Metzger was an advocate of broad general knowledge for high school teachers of agriculture, as opposed to specialization. Metzger wrote that a highly specialized teacher "is inclined to over-emphasize his specialty, to be too technical in his instruction for the high school student." He also advocated practical experience for high school students in different areas of agriculture and tried to find ways to involve the Maryland Agricultural College in local high school projects throughout the state.
His later writings, from 1926 to 1938, are more specific in nature and deal with various agricultural topics such as soybean hay making, the wheat crop of Maryland, corn silage, alfalfa, lawn management, and soil conservation. These papers generally resulted from studies carried out by the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. Metzger also addresses international issues in his later works; one untitled lecture addresses his concerns for the American farmer and the effects of the post-World War I market on American farming and another lecture discusses agriculture in South America, most likely inspired by Metzger's 1930 visit to Chile.
Arrangement is by location in the bound volume. An item level listing of the materials in the bound volume is appended to this guide.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame||Item|
|Writings and Lectures, 1915-1938||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Proper Preparation of Equipment, Academic and Professional, of Teachers in Schools of Agriculture, 1915||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 1|
|Maryland Agricultural College Summer School, 1915||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 2|
|The Work of Our Various Educational Institutions in the Solution of Problems of Rural Education and Rural Life: The Agricultural College, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 3|
|Our State Course of Study in Agriculture, Its Merits and Defects: A Discussion, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 4|
|Maryland's New School Law, ||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 5|
|Secondary Education, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 6|
|How the Rural School Can Best Fulfill Its Mission, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 7|
|The Country School as a Community Builder, ||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 8|
|Agriculture in the High Schools, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 9|
|Agriculture in the High Schools, [1915?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 10|
|Soybean Hay Making, Radio Talk, WMAL (Washington, DC), August 10, 1928||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 11|
|The Wheat Crop of Maryland: Its Importance to the Eastern Shore. Summer School for Ministers, Washington College, September 26, 1910||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 12|
|Course in Agriculture for Land-Grant Colleges, North Atlantic States (Second Year), [undated]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 13|
|Fertilized Check Plots. Reprinted from Soil Science Society of America Proceedings, Vol. 1, 1937, 1937||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 14|
|Some Typical Soil Profiles and Their Properties, [undated]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 15|
|Corn Silage (Filling the Sile), Radio Talk, August 20, 1929||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 16|
|Alfalfa in Rotations, [undated]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 17|
|Untitled [Foreign vs. Domestic markets], [undated]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 18|
|Agriculture in West Coast South America Countries, [1930?]||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 19|
|Lawns and Their Management, Radio Talk, April 1, 1930||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 20|
|Bringing Back the Lawn: A Talk on Rejuvenating Lawns that have been Depleted, Radio Talk, WMAL (Washington, DC), 1931||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 21|
|Home Productions of Feeds and Lawn Improvement, Radio Talk, September 23, 1932||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 22|
|The Alfalfa Soils of Maryland (M.C.I. Association), January, 1934||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 23|
|Fertilizers Under the Agricultural Adjustment Act (Truck Grower's Meeting, Baltimore), January, 1934||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 24|
|Conservation of Soils: Maryland's Land Problem, Radio Talk, WBAL (Baltimore, Maryland), January 26, 1934||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 25|
|The Use of Marginal Land: A Suggested Control and Conservation Program, February, 1934||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 26|
|How to Select Suitable Fertilizers for Canning Crops (Canner's Conference), February 26, 1935||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 27|
|The Soil Erosion Problem in Maryland, Radio Talk, WBAL (Baltimore), February 14, 1936||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 28|
|Adopting the Cropping System to the Needs of the Family Farm, September, 1936||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 29|
|Sweet Corn Production in Maryland (Southern Planter), March, 1937||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 30|
|Soil Erosion and Its Control (M.C.I. Association Meeting), January, 1938||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 31|
|Maryland Pastures (Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station), January 12, 1938||series 1||box 1||folder 1||item 32|
Writings of Jacob Elry Metzger may be found in various locations in the University of Maryland Libraries. The Marylandia and Rare Books Department has a copy of Agricultural Progress in a Typical Maryland Community, 1865-1925, College Park, 1925 (Maryland Folio S451.M32M4). A paper written with R. G Rothgeb, entitled "Crop Land Utilizations, Yield Trends and Crop Production Summaries for Maryland," (1931) is located in the University Publications collection (UPUB A40.001). The majority of Metzger's work outside of these papers may be found in bulletins from the Agricultural Experiment Station, located in the University Publications collection. Bulletins #237, 246, 253, 277, 281, 285, 297, 333, 347, 351, and 384 were all written or co-written by Metzger. Reprints of other Metzger papers are located in the Faculty Reprints Collection in the University of Maryland. Correspondence between Metzger and his widow and president of the University of Maryland, H. C. Byrd, is located in the University Archives, Records of the President, Harry Clifton Byrd files (unprocessed).
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
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 education -- Maryland -- History
- Agriculturists -- Maryland
- Agronomy -- Archival resources
- Crops and soils -- Maryland
- Maryland Agricultural College
- Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station
- Metzger, Jacob Elry, 1882-1939 -- Archives
- University of Maryland (College Park, Md.) -- Faculty -- Archives