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Tobacco Industry: Sources of Historical Research

Tobacco in the States

Jack Delano, photographer. Barranquitas (vicinity), Puerto Rico. FSA (Farm Security Administration) supervisor discussing the tobacco crop with a borrower on a farm, 1942. Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This page includes titles that are specific to the individual states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Kentucky, though tobacco was produced in other states as well. The material has a more historical focus but there are sources that cover current activities.

Some coverage of the tobacco industry is part of more general histories of the state or county. Additional coverage of particular places can be found in the General History section of this guide. If you are looking to research the Colonial American time period, you may find our Colonies in America: Commerce, Business, and the Economy guide helpful.

For those looking at more current information, websites and news sources are going to be important for many different types of research. While we are not including all newspapers from the various states, please see the guide to newspapers that the staff at the Newspaper & Current Periodical Division has created.

Books & Periodicals

If you are looking for older trade periodicals see subpage in the Industry Periodicals page. The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

Internet Resources

Resources found at state libraries, archives, and agricultural extensions can be very helpful for doing research on particular places. Materials are written, collected, or organized by people who understand the local history and traditions.

Agricultural Extensions & State Agencies

Many of the publications are scientific in nature, but they do often produce statistics and market-like reports. A State Department of Agriculture or a university's Agricultural Extension department, often publish information on particular crops. Look for publications by the state agency or agencies or look for material produced by the agricultural extension.

State Libraries & Archives, University Collections

Historical Societies & University Collections