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ACE Archives Analysis and Digital Collection

Report for 2011 Development Fund Grant:
Ace Archives Analysis and Digital Collection

January 6, 2012

Submitted by:

Joanne Littlefield, Director, Extension Outreach and Engagement
Colorado State University Extension, (970) 491-4640, Joanne.Littlefield@colostate.edu

Marie Allen, Graduate Student, Public Communication and Technology
Colorado State University, (970) 443-4739, mariesallen@gmail.com

ACE Grant Project 2014


With the award of a 2011 Development Fund Grant, the submitting members were able to travel to the Washington D.C. area to gain an understanding of the contents of the ACE Archives. We were able to comb the contents of the collection and create digital images of
what we perceived to be the most interesting pieces. We also worked hard to ascertain which content would be the most relevant to
current members, and which could be used to construct a visual history of ACE for publication on the Web and display at the 2013 100 year anniversary ACE Conference.



Prior to visiting the National Agriculture Library, we used the National Agriculture website to find contact information and made arrangements to view the archives by corresponding with library ‘special collections’ staff.

We were able to gain an idea of the contents of the archives through information published on the National Agriculture Library’s website. The ACE archives are composed of 50 boxes of primary materials. These include:

  • Original Newsletters (Boxes 107)
  • AAACE Quarterly, later Journal of Applied Communications (Boxes 8-11)
  • Programs from annual conferences (Boxes 12-17)
  • Board minutes (Boxes 18-20)
  • Research data for the book, The Presidents of ACE, and a copy of the book (Box 21)
  • Directories (Box 22)
  • Clip Art Books and Communications Handbooks (Box 23)
  • Awards (Boxes 24, 25)
  • Research Materials for the 50th Anniversary publication, History of AAACE (Box 26)
  • Committee Reports (Box 27, 28)
  • Membership lists (Box 29)
  • NPAC Records (Box 30-33)
  • PACER Records (Box 34)
  • Presidential correspondence (Box 35-37)
  • Regional Reports and Activities (Box 38)
  • Communication and Professional Improvement Training materials (Box 39)
  • Miscellaneous (Boxes 40-43)
  • Photographs (Box 44, 45, 49)
  • Tapes: Audio, Video (Box 46)
  • Publications, Miscellaneous (Box 47)
  • Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (Box 48)
  • Banners, Posters (Box 50)

Additional information about the contents of the ACE Archives can be found here.

Information Collection

Three days were spent viewing the materials contained in the archives and determining which might be of interest, if included in a historical presentation. Though we were able to view the contents of each of the boxes, after one afternoon we knew we would not be able to thoroughly evaluate each piece in the allotted amount of time. We determined that a cursory evaluation of the collection with digital images collected of what we considered the most visually striking materials would be the best use of our time. Images were collected at high enough resolution that even small text could be viewed upon our return to Colorado.


We collected over 300 digital images of ACE publications including meeting minutes, conference programs, in ewsletters and photographs. Although we were able to collect a significant amount of information from the archives, there is a vast variety that was unable to be captured through digital photos. Due to the nature of the National Agriculture Library Special Collections, and the amount of interaction that is permitted with the documents, some information would require different information collection methods (scanning equipment) and special permission from the library (which may or may not be possible).

The photographs collected have been edited and enhanced for optimal viewing.

Financial Statement

The information in the graph below shows how funds were spent and how these costs compared to those estimated and awarded.

  Estimated Costs Actual Costs
 Airfare: $250 x 2 passengers $500 $606
 Accommodations x 3 nights $300 $270
 Per diem (Food and ground transportx 4 days) $400 $656
 Total $1200 $1532

A program from the 1965 AACE Conference held in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (download PDF to view)

Future Work

Though we felt that the trip to The National Agriculture Library was a success, we feel that our ultimate goal of creating a multimedia
presentation showcasing the long history of ACE could be achieved with more time with the archives. Also, considering that the ACE
Archives end with material from 1996, we also plan to continue to gather information and primary documents to complete the history.
While we feel they have a good sample of information in a high quality format, we intend to continue with Phase II of this project: the synthesis and display of information in an engaging format for display at the 100th ACE Conference to be held in 2013 and online.

Special Note:

We were truly enthralled with the contents of the ACE Archives. The wealth of primary documents is a treasure for anyone who is interested in communications and how methods change throughout time. Though the information collected through this grant is valuable and will help to allow a wide audience to see the history of ACE, the viewing of and interaction with primary documents is something that cannot be compared to seeing a digital replica. We highly recommend taking the opportunity to explore these
archives in person if ever possible. We would like to thank ACE for giving us this opportunity to visit the National Agriculture Library and interact with the wealth of historic materials in the ACE Archives. We are so proud that the creation of  this presentation will allow is to be part of ACE’s long history.

Submitter Information

Joanne Littlefield: Extension Specialist, Outreach and Engagement. Littlefield has a long-time interest in the history of ACE. She has been an ACE member since 1992.

Marie Allen: Graduate student, Public Communication and Technology, Colorado State University. Allen’s academic focus is in publication design and visually communicating science. She has been a member of ACE since 2011.

The Resolutions of the American Association of Agricultural College Editors, June 30-July 2, 1920 (download PDF to view)

Download a PDF of this report.

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