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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank Adams papers
    Date (inclusive): 1889-1962
    Collection Number: ADAMS
    Creator: Adams, Frank, 1875-1967
    Extent: 16 linear feet (35 boxes)
    Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
    Riverside, CA 92517-5900
    Abstract: The Frank Adams papers consist of files regarding his work in the subjects of irrigation, agriculture, and land settlement projects. The materials include the following formats: reports, reprints, correspondence, clippings, and notes, and historical and statistical data. The content includes materials from his projects in Palestine, the western United States with a particular focus on California. There is extensive information on University of California Irrigation Investigations in California.
    Languages: English


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Distinctive Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], [date if possible]. Frank Adams papers (ADAMS). Water Resources Collections and Archives. Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.


    Frank Adams was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 19, 1875. He attended Cogswell High School in San Francisco until 1892, when his family moved from San Francisco to a farm near the Santa Cruz Mountains. He entered Stanford University in 1896 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1901. In 1906, he received his master's degree from the University of Nebraska.
    Adams worked as a field investigator for the U.S. Office of Experiment Stations in Washington, D.C. for several years between his Stanford and Nebraska degrees. From 1906 to 1910 he worked with his brother in a successful lighting-fixture venture. In 1910 Adams again became affiliated with the Office of Experiment stations, through which he had a great deal of contact with the University of California. In 1916, he received an official appointment with the University of California as the head of the Division of Irrigation Investigations and Practice in the College of Agriculture, a position he held for 29 years.
    Adams also served as an irrigation economist for the California Agricultural Experiment Station and the Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics. From 1926 to 1940 he served as a consulting engineer and economist for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and in 1927 went to Palestine as a member of the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Colonization. In 1928, Adams was an advisor to the International Water Commission for the United States and Mexico, and also advised the National Resources Committee in the Rio Grande Joint Investigation. He retired from UC in 1945 and in 1947 received the John Deere Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in agriculture, given by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.
    In 1949, the University of California awarded Adams with an honorary doctorate in laws and letters. At that time, University of California president Robert Gordon Sproul described Adams as a "pioneer in the application of engineering and economics to the problems of agriculture."
    In 1959, Adams' oral history , Frank Adams, University of California, on Irrigation, Reclamation, and Water Administration,was published by the Regional Oral History Project, University of California, Berkeley.
    Frank Adams was a distinguished professor of irrigation and an international consultant on agriculture, who was key to the development, distribution, and use of water in the West. He died on January 26, 1967 at the age of 91.

    Scope and Content

    Reports, reprints, correspondence, clippings, and notes, concerning water, irrigation, and land settlement projects in California, the Western States, and Palestine; drafts of legislation pertaining to water, water rights, and irrigation districts; minutes of meetings of various sections of the Commonwealth Club of California; historical and statistical data on California irrigation districts; and, extensive information on University of California Irrigation Investigations in California.
    Library has unpublished subject index to individual items.
    Note: There are no items numbered: 75, 159, 166, 187, 192, 211, 243, 412, 470, or 491.
    Select items from this collection have been digitized and are available online.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    University of California (1868-1952). College of Agriculture
    Commonwealth Club of California
    Irrigation -- California -- History
    Water resources development -- West (U.S.)
    Irrigation districts -- California
    Irrigation laws -- United States
    Reclamation of land -- West (U.S.) -- History
    Land settlement -- California
    Water rights -- California
    Water -- Law and legislation -- California
    Irrigation -- West (U.S.)