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The early writings on agriculture have long been regarded by agrarian historians as an important source of information on farming theory and practice. However, only a handful of specialized libraries of early agricultural books exist, and many of the early books are so scarce as to be virtually unobtainable. If available, few libraries, and even fewer individuals, could afford to purchase the original 17th, 18th, and early 19th-century works.

Through this microfiche collection, researchers in agriculture, anthropology, economics, and the history of science can now access these rare and valuable writings. The collection provides a selection of old English farm books by almost 50 different writers, including William Ellis, George Kay, Gervase Markham, William Marshall, and Matthew Peters. It covers all parts of the British Isles. Sample topics include:


  • agriculture
  • botany
  • dairy farming
  • farm economy
  • farming equipment
  • husbandry
  • land management
  • livestock management
  • lumbering
  • weather

British Agricultural Writers includes such diverse titles as:


  • The Country Gentlemen & Farmer's Monthly Director
  • The Shepherd of Banbury's Rules to know the Change of the Weather
  • The Riches of a Hop Garden explained
  • The Modern Husbandman
  • The Complete Planter and Cyderist
  • An account of the mode of Draining Land
  • Cavalrice: or, the English Horseman
  • The Language of Botany
  • A Review & Complete Abstract of the Reports of the Board of Agriculture

This collection will provide students and researchers with the primary source material needed to give them insight not only into agrarian history, but also into social history and economics.

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