The George Washington Carver digital collection was one of our first priorities when I began in Digital Initiatives four years ago. We digitized all of the correspondence between Carver and his mentor Dr. Louis Pammel at Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University). Carver received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the college, and was its first African American student (1891) and faculty member (1894). Recently, we received an email from a man who translates articles about interesting science subjects. He let us know that he has translated our Carver digital collection web page into Ukrainian.
This is not entirely surprising since there has been a consistent and widespread interest in Carver for many years. Carver is one of the top five most-researched topics at the Iowa State University Library Special Collections and Archives, where they get an average of 2-4 requests per month in regards to Carver. The Iowa State University Library Special Collections’ George Washington Carver website receives around 20,000 hits per month, with numbers swelling to over 100,000 hits during Black History Month every year. The link to this website is also cited online by Encyclopedia Britannica in their article on Carver (click “Weblinks” in the left-hand column).
Students from K-12 and people of all ages and interests find Carver a fascinating and important person and they come to Iowa State to learn more about him. Many students research Carver each year for National History Day. Southwest Airlines asked permission to use one of the library’s photographs of Carver on their packages of peanuts. Even poetry has been written about Carver’s life and work, as shown in this video of a poetry reading by a poet who researched Carver here at the library.
If we’ve piqued your interest, please take a few minutes to browse our George Washington Carver digital collection!