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History, Art and Biography: National Agricultural Library

The National Agricultural Library is enormous, and its website has many things to recommend it. A great place to start on the site is the NAL Collection, found at the top of the page. Visitors interested in the food-themed posters from the two world wars that encouraged Americans to plant Victory Gardens or to eat potatoes instead of wheat will enjoy the "Beans are Bullets" and "Of Course I Can!" War-Era Food Posters exhibit. Not only will visitors find excellent examples of the posters, but the curator, Cory Bernat's, explanations provided for each type of poster, and the differences between the posters from each war are informative and insightful. Clicking on Special Collection, visitors who like fruit will find the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection, which illustrated the new varieties of fruits that were being bred in the mid-1800s. Watercolorists were hired to paint the fruit, since scientific photography was not in use until the late 1800s. Visitors can read the biographies of the 13 USDA watercolorists and search, by fruit type, 300 digitized images, out of a collection of 7,700. The fruits painted include peaches, citrus, apples, and grapes, and each image includes the artist, where the fruit was grown, and the date of the watercolor.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
March 11th, 2011
Date Of Record Creation
March 11th, 2011 at 12:04pm
Date Of Record Release
March 11th, 2011 at 1:27pm
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