Acquisition Number:none
Date Finding Aid Created:October 2001
Title:Rural Experience in Northwestern Pennsylvania, 1900-1991.
Inclusive Dates: 1900-1991. The bulk of the items 1978-1979.
Creator: John Marsh and Karl Nordberg
Extent:.5 linear feet
Box Code: Marsh
Edinboro University Archives
Baron-Forness Library
Edinboro University
Edinboro, Pa 16444

This collection is a product of a grant directed by John Marsh and assisted by Karl Nordberg in 1978-79. The grant centered on the Goodell Farm as working exhibit of rural farming in Pennsylvania. It also included a look at current farming techniques and what the future may hold for farming. The grant activities included presentations, including talks from local farmers, that lead up to a video presentation (the video is not in the collection).

Acquisition Information:This is a legacy collection.
Preferred Citation:
Edinboro University Archives
Marsh Papers,Rural Experience in Northwestern Pennsylvania, 1900-1991

Access Restriction:Available to researchers for use in the archives.
Copyright: Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2001
Alternative Format:none
Bibliographic Information:
"Taking a Look at Old Edinboro," The Independent and Enterprise News, September 12, 1979.
"Edinboro Hosts Rural Experience Workshop," The Independent and Enterprise News, August 1, 1979.
"Rural Experience," Times-News, July 22, 1979.
"Rural Experience Program Scheduled," The Independent and Enterprise News, July 18, 1979.
"ESC Professors Conduct Study; Grant Awarded Rural Experience Project," The Independent and Enterprise News, February 28, 1978.
"Professors to Trace Borough's Rural Roots," Erie Times-News, April 12, 1979.

All of these are contained in the collection.

Scope and Content Notes: This collection contains documents surrounding the preparation and follow through of a grant. The grant was titled "The Rural Experience in Northwestern Pennsylvania: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." It was directed by John Marsh, a former Professor of English at Edinboro State College. Nearly all the documents are products of the late 1970's. Only a few photographs are dated in the early 1900's. There is an isolated correspondence dated 1991.

Organization of Collection:
A. The Rural Experience in Northwestern PA

Series Description:

This series contains various information regarding John L. Marsh’s "The Rural Experience in Northwestern PA: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow." The information includes: the proposals, general correspondence, notes on the farms of yesterday, today, and the future, photographs, and publicity. Dr. Marsh and Karl Nordberg, who was responsible for the photographs and visual materials, collaborated on this project.

In the proposal, Marsh explained the Rural Experience was divided into two stages. First, there was a detailed study of the Goodell Farm. In Marsh’s point of view, the farm was the area’s finest example of late Victorian agriculture. From the information collected, a three cassette-filmstrips series was produced on how a representative farm family might have looked and lived in Northwestern Pennsylvania 1876-1946. The second stage was a public forum. The public forum were divided into three parts. First, the Goodell farm material was presented. Second, three area farmers discussed their view of farming from their own experiences. Finally, an agricultural specialist discussed the future of the farms.

In the general correspondence information, the proposal for the project was essential rejected by The National Endowment for Humanities for lack of national appeal. In the letter, it was recommended that the proposal be sent to another division for grant consideration. The Public Committee for Humanities in Pennsylvania approved a grant for this project. Other correspondence included the general application and instructions as well as an agreement for the museums and historical organization program, letters he sent out regarding the approval of the grant, the Edinboro Review (1979) discussed the grant in its issue, the financial summaries of the project, the evaluations of the program done by the audience in attendance, and letters from other organizations supporting the project. (Also, there are two packets in regards to writing a proposal and basic principles in grant-making. Note: These were not official program guidelines.)

There was various information taken on farming of yesterday, today and the future. Some of the information collected included: journal articles, letters regarding specific knowledge about each time period, a 1977 Pennsylvania Dairy Farm Business Analysis, interviews along with the questions that were asked to certain individual (e.g. Goodell) area farmers. Also, there was a newspaper article pertaining to the current state of farming at the time.

Additionally, there are 24 photographs along with 18 slides and one sheet of negatives. About half of the photos were unidentified. The other half has either John Marsh or Karl Norberg pictured. Also, there is one picture of Todd Goodell. The slides have generic descriptions on them (e.g. farm, cow, road). Also, many of the photos are undated. An estimated date range would be from 1900-1979.

Finally, there was some publicity for the program and workshop. There were many newspaper articles and pictures on the Rural Experience lecture and workshop. These articles were found in The Independent and Enterprise News(1979). The Erie-Times News featured the program in the calendar of events section of the paper as well as running a small article about the project. Lastly, the ESC Alumni News (1979) wrote a short article on the project and how the grant was given.

Controlled Access Terms:
Marsh, John
Nordberg, Karl
Farm life
Country life
Research grants

Contents List:

Box Code: Marsh
-Rural Experience: Proposals
-Rural Experience: Materials
-Rural Experience: Correspondence, materials, and proposals
-Rural Experience: General Correspondence
-Rural Experience: Correspondence
-Rural Experience: Farm of Yesterday
-Rural Experience: Farm of Today
-Rural Experience: Farm of Future
-Rural Experience: Photos
-Rural Experience: Publicity