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In 1867, the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture established a fund for the growth and preservation of the Society's Collection at the University of Pennsylvania Library.

The Society is the oldest such group of its kind anywhere and the first to be established, anywhere. It goes back to 1785 and grew out of enthusiasm in Europe and America for a more scientific and business approach to agriculture that would make it more productive and profitable.

The Collection is a marvelous assemblage of books and manuscripts from the eighteenth through the nineteenth centuries on all aspects of agriculture, from manure and farm implements to animal husbandry. The Society's archive is valuable in its own right, providing a record of continuous activity from the early days of the Republic to the present.