Guide to the D. Wynne Thorne Papers,
1936-1983

Print this Finding Aid | Email this Finding Aid


Results

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Thorne, D. W.(David Wynne), 1908-1979
Title: D. Wynne Thorne Papers
Dates: 1936-1983 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 29 boxes (11 linear feet)
Collection Number: USU_COLL MSS 299
Summary: This collection contains the professional papers of D. Wynne Thorne spanning the period from 1936 to 1983, with the bulk of the collection covering 1958 to 1978. The collection consists of Thorne's correspondence, research papers, speeches, publications, BARR (Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources) papers, ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics) papers, and papers concerning Thorne's international involvement with nations such as India, Pakistan, the USSR, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, Syria, Ethiopia, and others.
Repository: Utah State University. Special Collections and Archives
Manuscript Collection

Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
3000 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-3000
Phone: 435 797-2663
Fax: 435 797-2880
Email: scweb@usu.edu

Languages: Material in English 

Biographical Note

David Wynne Thorne was born December 19, 1908 in Perry, Utah. After graduating from Box Elder High School, Thorne enrolled at Weber State College and received an AS in Science in 1928. Later that year Thorne was called to serve as a missionary in England for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thorne served as a missionary for two years before returning to Utah and enrolling in the Utah State Agricultural College (now Utah State University) where he earned a B.S. in Chemistry in 1933. The following year Thorne enrolled at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University) where he earned a M.S. (1934) and a Ph.D. (1936) in Soil Science. Thorne's Ph.D. dissertation was entitled “Some Factors Influencing the Growth and Respiration of Rhizobium.” During 1937 and 1938 Thorne taught at Texas A&M College and also married Alison Comish on August 3, 1937 in Salt Lake City. In 1939 he joined Utah State University's Agronomy Department, where he remained until his retirement in 1974.

Thorne's research as a professor of agronomy at Iowa State College and Texas A&M College in the 1930s and later at Utah State (1939-55) produced valuable publications on the identification of minor element deficiencies in Utah crops and on various soil-water relationships. The insights gained through this research eventually culminated in a book that went through several editions and was published in several languages. Since its 1954 publication, Irrigated Soils-Their Fertility and Management, co-authored with H.B. Peterson, has been a classic in its field because it clarified the importance of soil, climate, crop, fertilizer, and water interactions.

In 1955 Dr. Thorne served a one-year stint as Chief of the TVA's Soil and Fertilizer Research Branch. In 1955, he also relinquished his position as Head of the USU Agronomy Department and became Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and Director of the newly created Division of Research. That transition marked an end to his scientific career and the assumption of a role in which he vigorously promoted the scientific careers of others. Through his creation and leadership of USU's Division of Research he was able to implement his belief that research must be defined to encompass all scholarly creative activities, including those within the humanities and arts. Simultaneously, Thorne also facilitated research and helped publicize the results and accomplishments of USU's Agricultural Experiment Station personnel.

While fulfilling the responsibilities of leading the Station and the Division (1955-1965), Dr. Thorne also participated in various state, national, and international agricultural and science organizations, committees, and missions. Within Utah, this included extensive work on the problems of industry-generated air-borne contaminants. On the international scene, Thorne was instrumental in establishing the U.S./Russia agricultural scientist exchanges and was the only non-USDA member of the first USDA delegation to Russia. While in Russia, he was presented with a translated version of his book on irrigated soils. His initial written presentation describing a possible Russian/U.S. scientist exchange program was widely used as a model by other government agencies. At various times between 1955 and 1965 he acted as a consultant on soil and water problems for countries such as Iraq, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia. During that same decade he continued to publish technical and semi-technical articles and edited (and wrote a chapter for) the American Association for the Advancement of Science book, Land and Water Use.

In 1965, Dr. Thorne became USU's first Vice President for Research. Later he relinquished directorship of the Station in order to concentrate more effectively on the university's broader research concerns. During the late 1960s, Thorne became involved in attempts to help India solve its food problems. This work led to his 1972 appointment to the board of Governors of the "Consultative Group" of the International Crops Research Institute for Tropical Agriculture in India. His 1968-70 efforts helped provide the foundation for India's present agricultural research program. Late in 1970, he participated in the National Academy of Sciences evaluation of the World Bank's development program for East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and prepared the NAS report.

As Vice President for Research, Wynne Thorne anticipated national scientific trends and strongly urged interdisciplinary work at USU. The Ecology Center, International Biological Programs' Desert Biome, various institutes, and the Environment and Man Program are representative of the results of his commitment to interdisciplinary research.

In 1973, Dr. Thorne resigned as Vice President for Research in preparation for his impending retirement and re-assumed directorship of the Agricultural Experiment Station. As station director in these unpredictable times, he eliminated costly duplication of research efforts and emphasized an imaginative team approach to solving problems. In particular, station personnel were urged to respond creatively to the renewed need for agricultural productivity, pollution problems, and questions of optimizing land use. He was appointed to the Agricultural Board of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, an organization that affected national agricultural policy. Thorne died in 1979.

Content Description

This collection contains the professional papers of D. Wynne Thorne spanning the period from 1936 to 1983, with the bulk of the collection spanning 1958 to 1978. The collection consists of Thorne's correspondence, research papers, speeches, publications, BARR (Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources) papers, ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics) papers, and papers concerning Thorne's international involvement with nations such as India, Pakistan, the USSR, Sierra Leone, Ecuador, Syria, Ethiopia, and other nations.

The materials in this collection have been organized topically and chronologically reflecting their original order. Researchers should be aware that in addition to the identified box of correspondence (Box 2), many of Thorne's subject files and research files also contain correspondence relative to the file's specific topic. Some files in this collection contain informational notes by Alison Comish Thorne, Thorne's wife, that give background information about the file's specific topic. Box 2, Fd 14 contains the correspondence of Alison Comish Thorne concerning D.W. Thorne's work.

Collection at a glance:

  • Boxes 1-5: General Papers.
  • Boxes 6-7: Environmental Issues.
  • Box 8: BARR (Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources) papers, 1970s.
  • Boxes 9-12: ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics) papers, 1970s.
  • Boxes 13-18: United States Experiment Stations and Research Projects.
  • Boxes 19-29: Foreign Project Papers.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Use :  

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the D. Wynne Thorne Papers must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation :  

Initial Citation: D. Wynne Thorne Papers USU_COLL MSS 299, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 299, USUSCA.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged topically and then chronologically.

Processing Note :  

Processed in March of 2006

Acquisition Information :  

The material in this collection was donated to USU Special Collections in 1995 and 1999 by Alison Comish Thorne, the wife of D. Wynne Thorne.

Related Materials :  

Alison Comish Thorne, which are catalogued as COLL MSS 216: Alison Comish Thorne Papers. Researchers interested in viewing the photographs of D. Wynne Thorne should inquire with USU Special Collections’ photograph curator.

Bibliography :  Source:
  • USU online biography: http://www.usu.edu/research/recognition/wynne March 2006.

Detailed Description of the Collection

General Papers, 1950-1979
(5 boxes, 56 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Biographical Papers, Oral History Interview, and Various Professional Papers
Box
Folder
1 1 Biographical papers Undated
1 2 Vitae Undated
1 3 Diplomas Undated
1 4 Certificates Undated
1 5 Passports Undated
1 6 Retirement speech and program Undated
1 7 Papers, tributes, and programs concerning Thorne's funeral Undated
1 8 Book contracts, USU agreements, and other Undated
1 9 Papers concerning a type of wheat named after Thorne Undated
1 10 File entitled “Humorous,” contains a oral history interview and various papers about the Thornes 1954
1 11 Papers concerning some of Thorne's papers located at U of Wyoming Undated
1 12 Papers concerning the annual DW Thorne Research Award Undated
1 13 Papers concerning a coronary drug project that Thorne participated in 1969-1975
1 14 Eulogies given by Thorne Undated
1 15 Personal papers, miscellaneous Undated
Correspondence 1958-1978
Box
Folder
2 1 Correspondence
(while Thorne was in Iraq and the USSR, with a note about this correspondence by A. Thorne)
1958
2 2 Outgoing correspondence 1959-1970
2 3 Outgoing correspondence 1971-1973
2 4 Outgoing correspondence 1974
2 5 Outgoing correspondence 1975
2 6 Outgoing correspondence 1976-1977
2 7 Outgoing correspondence 1978
2 8 Outgoing correspondence Undated
2 9 Incoming correspondence, A-C Undated
2 10 Incoming correspondence, D-K Undated
2 11 Incoming correspondence, L-R Undated
2 12 Incoming correspondence, S-Z Undated
2 13 Incoming correspondence, “Letters of Tribute presented to DW Thorne,”
(bound)
1975
2 14 Correspondence of Alison Comish Thorne 1974-1983
Thorne's Publications and Writings
Box
Folder
3 1 Thorne's Ph.D. dissertation, “Some Factors Influencing the Growth and Respiration of Rhizobium,” ISC 1936
3 2 Thorne, "The Desert Shall Blossom as the Rose" 1951
3 3 Articles on chlorosis 1948-1955
3 4 Articles on fluoride 1957-1958
3 5 Articles on rhizobium 1930-1939
3 6 Articles on phosphorus 1948-1958
3 7 Articles on soil 1937-1956
3 8 Articles on water 1950-1959
3 9 Articles on zinc 1950-1959
3 10 Publications 1950-1978
3 11 Publications 1950-1978
3 12 Published USDA reports of the team that went to the USSR in which Thorne was part of 1958
3 13 Book reviews for Soil, Water, and Crop Production Undated
Thorne's Speeches 1957-1979
Box
Folder
4 1 Speeches 1957-1960
4 2 Speeches 1961-1964
4 3 Speeches 1965
4 4 Speeches 1966-1968
4 5 Speeches 1969-1970
4 6 Speeches 1971-1974
4 7 Speeches 1975-1979
4 8 Speeches Undated
Thorne Papers 1961-1978
Box
Folder
5 1 Research reports to the USU Board of Trustees 1961-1962
5 2 File: Research at USU 1970-1979
5 3 File: Research organization at USU 1970-1979
5 4 File: Salinity in our national waters Undated
5 5 World Centers in Agricultural Research, papers and reports 1974
5 6 Research papers, miscellaneous 1970-1979

^ Return to Top

Environmental Issues, 1951-1979
(2 boxes, 14 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Environmental Issues 1951-1978
Box
Folder
6 1 UNDP correspondence 1970-1979
6 2 UASAL meeting minutes 1975
6 3 Papers concerning a “Farm Water Management Manual” 1974
6 4 Iran contract and project proposal 1951
6 5 Research proposal submitted to the National Science Foundation 1973
Environmental Issues 1968-1979
Box
Folder
7 1 File: A.H. Kassam Undate
7 2 File: The Energy Crisis 1970-1979
7 3 File: EPA, SO2 – Coal Undated
7 4 EPA Study papers 1970-1979
7 5 Four Corners 1970-1979
7 6 File: Managing the experiment station Undated
7 7 File: Plant survey for air pollution 1974
7 8 File: Utah range council 1970-1979
7 9 Western Experiment Stations: Long-range Planning 1968-1969

^ Return to Top

BARR Papers, 1970-1979
(1 boxes, 11 folders)

(Board on Agriculture and Renewable Resources)

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
8 1 BARR meeting minutes and financial papers 1974-1975
8 2 BARR study proposal and correspondence 1974
8 3 BARR report 1974
8 4 BARR, Washington DC papers 1974 October
8 5 BARR, study of food production Undated
8 6 BARR report “The Management of Science in US Agriculture,” and papers 1970-1979
8 7 BARR report “Interdependencies of Food, Population, Environment, and Energy,” and papers 1970-1979
8 8 BARR Forest Service review 1970-1979
8 9 BARR proposal papers 1977
8 10 BARR reports and correspondence 1977
8 11 BARR, Land-water-energy 1974-1975

^ Return to Top

ICRISAT Papers, 1970-1979
(4 boxes, 28 folders)

(International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics)

Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
9 1 Outgoing correspondence 1972-1973
9 2 Outgoing correspondence 1974-1977
9 3 Incoming correspondence, A-Z Undated
9 4 Incoming correspondence, Bentley, C.F. 1972-1979
9 5 Incoming correspondence, Cummings, Ralph W. 1972-1974
9 6 Incoming correspondence, Cummings, Ralph W. 1975-1978
9 7 Incoming correspondence, Kanwar, J.S. 1973-1978
9 8 Incoming correspondence, Swindle, L.D. 1977-1979
9 9 Agenda papers Undated
9 10 Thorne's visa papers Undated
9 11 ICRISAT meeting minutes 1972-1973
9 12 ICRISAT agenda and meeting notes 1973
9 13 ICRISAT meeting minutes 1974
10 1 ICRISAT meeting minutes 1975
10 2 ICRISAT meeting minutes 1977-1978
10 3 Publications about ICRISAT Undated
10 4 Lectures given at the Workshop on Grain Legums 1975
10 5 Lectures given at the Workshop on Grain Legums, continued Undated
10 6 Lectures given at the Workshop on Grain Legums, continued Undated
11 1 Quinquennial review papers 1978
11 2 ICRISAT reports 1970-1979
11 3 ICRISAT reports 1970-1979
11 4 ICRISAT reports 1970-1979
11 5 ICRISAT reports 1970-1979
12 1 Published ICRISAT reports 1973-1976
12 2 Publications connected to ICRISAT Undated
12 3 Publications connected to ICRISAT Undated
12 4 ICRISAT papers, miscellaneous 1970-1979
12 5 ICRISAT papers, miscellaneous 1970-1979

^ Return to Top

United States Experiment Stations and Research Projects, 1950-1979
(6 boxes, 50 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Box
Folder
13 1 World Centers for Agricultural Research Conference
(with note by A.C. Thorne)
1974
13 2 Maine Agricultural Experiment Station papers 1970-1979
13 3 US Aid Consulting Undated
13 4 World Bank 1970-1979
13 5 Soil and Land Use Technology Consulting Firm, Washington DC 1970-1979
13 6 Financial papers, miscellaneous 1970-1979
13 7 Indian Reservation Study, Nathan Koenig 1976-1977
13 8 Ralph M. Parsons 1975-1976
13 9 Experience Incorporation 1973-1975
13 10 Development Resources Corporation Undated
13 11 Chas T. Mann file 1974
14 1 ISTI papers 1978
14 2 UNDP (United Nations Development Plan) correspondence and papers 1970s
14 3 UNDP correspondence 1970-1979
14 4 Proposal to US Agency for International Development 1974
14 5 Jane U. Sandberg file 1977
14 6 Security clearance issues 1971
14 7 FAR committee reports 1971-1978
14 8 Environment and Man proposal to the Rockefeller Foundation 1970
14 9 Papers and report on land use 1970-1979
14 10 World food 1970-1979
14 11 Energy and agriculture 1970-1979
14 12 Desert encroachment 1970-1979
14 13 History of agriculture Undated
14 14 The future of agriculture Undated
15 1 History of agricultural mechanization Undated
15 2 Research administration 1970-1979
15 3 Colorado River Basin, AAAS conference 1974
15 4 “The California Water Facilities Program,” by DW Thorne & Associates
(with note by A.C. Thorne)
1960
15 5 Chas T. Mann correspondence and papers 1960-1969
16 1 Research papers for AAAS paper 1977
16 2 AAAS paper drafts and notes Undated
16 3 “Federal/State Relations in Agricultural Research,” by Thorne, also contains correspondence 1970-1979
16 4 CSRS (Cooperative State Research Service) consulting papers and correspondence 1970-1979
16 5 UK Agriculture Research Administration, publications and report Undated
16 6 Thorne's CSRS handwritten notebooks 1974-1975
16 7 CSRS reports Undated
17 1 CSRS review papers and correspondence 1975
17 2 CSRS pink sheets Undated
17 3 Innovation in Research, CSRS training program 1978
17 4 Innovation in Research, CSRS training program, continued 1978
17 5 Rhode Island project papers 1970-1979
17 6 Rhode Island review papers and correspondence 1970-1979
17 7 Rhode Island review papers and correspondence, continued 1970-1979
18 1 Maine, research administrations 1970-1979
18 2 Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station papers, notebook, and correspondence 1978
18 3 Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station papers 1970-1979
18 4 Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station papers 1970-1979
18 5 Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station papers 1970-1979
18 6 Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station publications 1970-1979

^ Return to Top

Foreign Project Papers, 1960-1979
(11 boxes, 67 folders)
Container(s)
Description
Dates
Foreign Project Papers; Bolivia, Ethiopia, Sahel Droghth, and Ecuador
Box
Folder
19 1 Bolivia papers and correspondence 1960-1969
19 2 Ethiopia correspondence and reports 1970-1979
19 3 Ethiopia project description and reports 1970-1979
19 4 Sahel Droghth papers Undated
19 5 Ecuador project correspondence and papers 1960-1969
Foreign Project Papers; Ecuador 1960-1969
Box
Folder
20 1 Ecuador project correspondence 1960-1969
20 2 Ecuador; Pisayambo Project, project description, papers, and blueprints Undated
20 3 Ecuador project reports 1960-1969
20 4 Ecuador; Pisayambo and Rio Guayas Project proposals 1964 and 1965.
20 5 Ecuador project report 1967
Foreign Project Papers; Ecuador and Pakistan 1960-1978
Box
Folder
21 1 Ecuador project report on the Guayas Rive Basin 1968
21 2 Ecuador project report 1968
21 3 East Pakistan project correspondence and publications 1970-1979
21 4 Pakistan project; Thorne's notebook 1976
21 5 Pakistan project correspondence and papers 1976
21 6 “The Chemistry and Transport of Lead and Cadmium in Soils,” by Jurinak and Santillan-Medrano 1974
Foreign Project Papers; Pakistan, Mauritania, and India 1960-1978
Box
Folder
22 1 East Pakistan project correspondence and reports 1970-1979
22 2 East Pakistan project reports 1972
22 3 Publications about Pakistan Undated
22 4 Mauritania project correspondence 1979
22 5 Mauritania project, report by Thorne 1978
22 6 India project conference papers 1960-1969
Foreign Project Papers; India 1969-1978
Box
Folder
23 1 India project correspondence 1969-1977
23 2 India project meeting minutes and papers 1974-1976
23 3 India project, publications 1974-1976
23 4 India project, publications Undated
23 5 India project papers
(from a three-ring binder)
Undated
Foreign Project Papers; India, Purbhani, and the USSR 1958-1978
Box
Folder
24 1 India project papers for Ralph Parsons, correspondence and financial papers 1969
24 2 Purbhani project reports and publications Undated
24 3 Purbhani project papers about the MAU 1970-1979
24 4 Purbhani project correspondence 1970-1979
24 5 Purbhani project notes, reports, and other 1970-1979
24 6 USSR project, essays by Thorne 1958
24 7 USSR project papers 1958
Foreign Project Papers; Sierra Leone, Syria, the Euphrates Project, and other
Box
Folder
25 1 Sierra Leone project correspondence and papers 1970-1979
25 2 Sierra Leone project papers and reports 1975-1977
25 3 Near East & Africa, papers and reports 1970-1979
25 4 Syria; Euphrates Basin project correspondence and papers 1978
25 5 Euphrates Project papers 1970-1979
25 6 Euphrates Project publications 1970-1979
Foreign Project Papers; the Near East and Egypt 1970-1979
Box
Folder
26 1 Near East, cereal crops, papers and correspondence 1972
26 2 Egypt project correspondence 1978-1979
26 3 Egypt project, farming systems mission, correspondence and papers 1978
26 4 Egypt project reports and papers Undated
26 5 Egypt project, publications concerning the project 1974-1976
26 6 Egypt project, publications concerning the project 1976
26 7 Egypt project review papers and correspondence 1976
Foreign Project Papers; Egypt and Yemen 1970-1979
Box
Folder
27 1 Egypt project reports 1969-1976
27 2 Egypt project correspondence, reports, and papers 1977
27 3 Egypt project reports and publications Undated
27 4 Egypt project evaluation papers 1978
27 5 South Yemen Mission, correspondence and project outline 1975
27 6 South Yemen project, Thorne's notebook Undated
Foreign Project Papers; Egypt and Yemen 1970-1979
Box
Folder
28 1 South Yemen project papers and publications 1975
28 2 South Yemen project outline 1975
28 3 Libya project contract and correspondence 1974
28 4 Libya project meeting minutes and papers 1975
28 5 Libya project papers Undated
28 6 Libya project field trip notes and papers 1975
28 7 Libya project blueprints and papers Undated
28 8 Libya project settlement papers, J.K. Black 1975
28 9 Libya project progress report 1975
28 10 Seed Legumes/West Africa 1977
Foreign Project Papers; miscellaneous countries
Box
Folder
29 1 Miscellaneous countries in Africa 1970-1979
29 2 Miscellaneous countries in Africa and Japan 1970-1979
29 3 Miscellaneous countries, papers 1970-1979
29 4 Sahel Program notebook 1978

^ Return to Top

Subjects

    • Personal Names :
    • Thorne, Alison Comish
    • Thorne, D. W.(David Wynne), 1908-1979
    • Corporate Names :
    • Utah State University. Dept. of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology.
    • Utah State University--Faculty.
    • Utah State University--History--Sources.

    ^ Return to Top