This website is devoted to making the history of

the Rural Sociological Society and rural sociology more accessible.


Additions and suggestions are always welcome!








Footprints on the Web:

Rural Sociology's History Online




Over the span of a single generation, the web has opened new worlds and possibilities for access to information of all kinds. 

One of the resources we donít often think of is access to our own history.


The types of documents that have been digitized or scanned range from the photographs taken by the Farm Security Administration

and the report of the Country Life Commission to early textbooks in rural sociology. 


No longer restricted to dusty bookshelves, we now have unprecedented access to our history as never before making it much easier

to use in classroom assignments, research projects, or just to satisfy our own curiosity. 



Below are just a few of the websites where documents in the history of rural sociology can be found.


Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA)


Developed by Mann Library at Cornell University, the collection contains key books and documents in the history of the agricultural

sciences, including rural sociology.




National Agricultural Library Digital Repository (NALDR)


Provides access to historical USDA publications such as circulars, bulletins, and yearbooks of agriculture.




Photos from the Farm Security Administration Ė Office of War Information Collection


This is only one of the many collections that are part of the Library of Congress, American Memory Project (  This particular one has both black and white and color photographs from 1935-1945,

including the iconic photographs of rural America during the depression.




Google Books


In addition to limited views of contemporary books, this site also contains publications that are out of print; such as the first textbook

in rural sociology written by John M. Gillette in 1916.




Internet Archive


This website contains a diverse range of items both historical and contemporary including documents, audio, moving images and

archived web pages.  Linking to both items on their own website as well as those on others, the Internet Archive even includes

Woman's Place in Rural Economy : A Study in Sociology written in 1913 by Paul de Vuyst.




This information is from:

2009. "Footprints on the Web: Rural Sociology's History" The Rural Sociologist. Vol. 29(1):34-35.

Click here to see the full article.



See also:





Please send suggestions, ideas, or changes to:


Julie N. Zimmerman

RSS Historian

Professor, Rural Sociology

Dept. of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky


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