Online archive harvests college’s publications

July 14th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Research News

cover of historical publication Fruits of Hawaii

The 1,000-plus publications available through the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ website give a sense of the college’s history, as well as the breadth of its work.

The CTAHR publications website is continually updated with current publications and has recently been expanded with previously out-of-print documents, scanned in collaboration with UH Manoa’s ScholarSpace digital repository.

The publications site allows users to browse in 25 categories or search by keyword, title or author. Most of the publications can be downloaded free. ScholarSpace searches contents as well, includes reports and individual papers from conference proceedings and provides Hamilton Library call numbers for documents.

Together the tools provide access to some of the more than 8,000 documents published by CTAHR and its precursors and detailed in the college’s online database.

The oldest publications, including J. E. Higgins’ bulletins The Banana in Hawaiʻi (1904) and The Mango in Hawaiʻi (1906), published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Experiment Stations and printed by the Government Printing Office, predate the college itself.

Since the founding of the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1907, CTAHR publications have assisted Hawai’i farmers and families, individuals and industries.

Studies on food crops from taro to papaya and resources from soils to forests are probably no surprise from an agricultural school, but offerings also include subjects such as family finances, child development and entrepreneurship.

Topics of the downloadable files also include nutrition—from a 1945 description of the nutritive value of tropical fruits to a 1984 treatise on use of tropical vegetables to improve diets; floriculture and home gardening—from a 1913 bulletin describing ornamental hibiscus to 2009 advice on watering roses; environmental issues—from a 1963 report on the hydrology of Kauaʻi’s Alakaʻi Swamp to the 2008 bibliography of sustainable evaluation systems for tourism; and economics—from a 1989 analysis of tax pyramiding and exporting to the 2010 look at costs of shipping fresh fruits and vegetables to Honolulu.

Some publications predict developments in the history of agriculture and emerging land-use concerns in Hawaiʻi, from F. G. Krauss’s early look at legumes as green manure for sustainable agriculture systems (1917), to research on factors affecting the growth and yield of Kona coffee (1953), methods for screening alternative crops (1985), placing a value on open space (1995) and use of protector crops to counter aphid-borne viruses (2009).

The site also offers videos on topics ranging from healthcare fraud to food allergies to lychee harvesting.

The digital publication harvest extends the college’s work on its centennial book, Hawaiʻi’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources: Celebrating the First 100 Years, notes CTAHR Editor Dale Evans. “It’s important that students in the college today know what their scientific, intellectual and public service history is,” he adds.

Evans credits CTAHR assistant specialist and unofficial resident historian James Hollyer with playing a lead role in both efforts.

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