Date Palm collection

Finding aid prepared by Serena Rodholm, 2017.
Special Collections & University Archives
The UCR Library
P.O. Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, California 92517-5900
Phone: 951-827-3233
Fax: 951-827-4673
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Date Palm collection
Date (inclusive): circa 1870-1970
Collection Number: MS 047
Extent: 7.19 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 1 flat folder)
Repository: Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Riverside, CA 92517-5900
Abstract: This collection contains records and research on the date palm industry and date palm farming throughout the 20th century, including photographs of date palm farms, brochures, and newspaper clippings. Additionally, the collection contains photographs, programs, correspondence, and pamphlets pertaining to the United States Department of Agriculture Date Station, and items from date palm researchers Walter T. Swingle, and Roy W. Nixon.
Languages: The collection is in English and French.


The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction, and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [date if possible]. Date Palm collection (MS 047). Special Collections & University Archives, University of California, Riverside.

Processing History

The collection was processed by Serena Rodholm in 2017.
Processing of the Date Palm collection was completed by undergraduate students from the University of California, Riverside as part of the Special Collections & University Archives Backlog Processing Project started in 2015. This project was funded by the UCR Library and administered by Jessica Geiser, Collections Management Librarian.

Collection Scope and Contents

This collection contains photographs, brochures, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and other material regarding the date palm industry and research efforts related to this plant species. Materials in the collection include photographs of date palm farms in California, North Africa, and Iraq as well as photographs regarding the cultivation of palm varieties and palm diseases. Brochures and newspaper clippings documenting the date palm industry in the Coachella Valley are also included. Additionally, this collection includes items from the United States Department of Agriculture Date Station as well as researchers Walter T. Swingle, and Roy W. Nixon.

Collection Arrangement

This collection is divided into eight series. The series are arranged as follows:
  • Series 1. Photographs, circa 1870-1979
  • Series 2. Newspapers, 1912-1966
  • Series 3. Correspondence, 1903-1986
  • Series 4. Programs, 1927-1950
  • Series 5. Date Palm Informational Material, 1887-2015
  • Series 6. Pamphlets, circa 1914-1968
  • Series 7. Scrapbooks, 1909-1951
  • Series 8. Maps, 1914-1958, undated

Indexing Terms

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


Agriculture -- Research.
Date palm.
Dates (fruit).
Nixon, Roy W. (Roy Wesley)
Swingle, Walter T. (Walter Tennyson), 1871-1952

Genres and Forms of Materials

Clippings (information artifacts).

Collection Contents


Series 1. Photographs circa 1870-1979

Series Scope and Contents

This series consists of photographs of date palm farms in the United States, Iraq, and Sudan, and types of dates, mostly taken or collected by researchers John Carpenter, Roy W. Nixon, and Walter T. Swingle.

Series Arrangement

The series is divided into four subseries as follows, mainly by the researcher who took or collected the photographs:
  • Subseries 1.1. John Carpenter, 1930-1932
  • Subseries 1.2. Roy W. Nixon, circa 1915-1980
  • Subseries 1.3. Walter T. Swingle, circa 1900-1933
  • Subseries 1.4. Photograph Negatives, circa 1926-1979

Sub-Series 1.1. John Carpenter 1930-1932

Subseries Scope and Contents

The subseries consists of photographs from the files of John Carpenter, the former Director of the United States Date & Citrus Station. Photographs in the subseries depict date palm farms and farming techniques in California, Egypt and Sudan.

Subseries Arrangement

Materials are arranged alphabetically by folder title.
Box 1, Folder 1

Coachella Valley, CA 1930

Box 1, Folder 2

Egypt & Sudan 1932


Sub-Series 1.2. Roy W. Nixon circa 1915-1980

Subseries Scope and Contents

This subseries contains photographs from researcher Roy W. Nixon, and consists mostly of photographs of date palm farms and trees in various locations.

Subseries Arrangement

Materials in the subseries are arranged alphabetically by photograph location.
Box 1, Folder 3

Bernard G. Johnson Identification 1915-1916

Box 1, Folder 4

Glass Plate Negative- Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 5

Baghdad, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 6

Balad Ruz, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 7

Baqubah undated

Box 1, Folder 8

Basrah, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 9

Beltsville, MD 1929

Box 1, Folder 10

Beltsville, MD 1929

Box 1, Folder 11

Borego Valley 1926

Box 1, Folder 12

Borego Valley 1926

Box 1, Folder 13

Chicago, IL 1934

Box 1, Folder 14

Coachella Valley, CA 1921

Box 1, Folder 15

Coachella Valley, CA circa 1932

Box 1, Folder 16

Coachella Valley, CA 1953

Box 1, Folder 17

Deli, India undated

Box 1, Folder 18

Dongola undated

Box 1, Folder 19

Faras, Sudan undated

Box 1, Folder 20

Flagstaff, AZ 1930

Box 1, Folder 21

Hayden, AZ 1938

Box 1, Folder 22

Hyder, AZ 1933

Box 1, Folder 23

Honolulu, HI 1925

Box 1, Folder 24

Honolulu, HI 1929

Box 1, Folder 25

Indio, CA undated

Box 1, Folder 26

Indio, CA 1926

Box 1, Folder 27

Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 28

Iraq 1929

Box 1, Folder 29

Karima, Sudan undated

Box 1, Folder 30

Karun River, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 31

Mandali, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 32

Mecca, CA 1916

Box 1, Folder 33

Mecca, CA 1947

Box 1, Folder 34

Mecca, CA 1948

Box 1, Folder 35

Mecca, CA 1949

Box 1, Folder 36

Mike Tobin Ranch, NV 1930

Box 1, Folder 37

Mitchell Date Orchard 1948

Box 1, Folder 38

Mohammerah, Persia undated

Box 1, Folder 39

Nuri, Sudan 1965

Box 1, Folder 40

Omderman, Sudan undated

Box 1, Folder 41

Oneco, FL undated

Box 1, Folder 42

Palm Springs, CA undated

Box 1, Folder 43

Riverside, CA undated

Box 1, Folder 44

San Francisco, CA undated

Box 1, Folder 45

Shahraban, Iraq undated

Box 1, Folder 46

Tigris River undated

Box 1, Folder 47

Turkey 1948

Box 1, Folder 48

Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 49

Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 50

Unknown Location circa 1870

Box 1, Folder 51

Unknown Location circa 1880

Box 1, Folder 52

Unknown Location 1923

Box 1, Folder 53

Unknown Location 1925

Box 1, Folder 54

Unknown Location 1925

Box 1, Folder 55

Unknown Location 1926

Box 1, Folder 56

Unknown Location 1929-1930

Box 1, Folder 57

Unknown Location 1930

Box 1, Folder 58

Unknown Location 1931

Box 1, Folder 59

Unknown Location 1936

Box 1, Folder 60

Wadi Halfa undated

Box 1, Folder 61

Wisconsin undated

Box 1, Folder 62

Wolfshill Ranch, CA 1916


Sub-Series 1.3. Walter T. Swingle circa 1900-1933

Subseries Scope and Contents

This subseries contains photographs from researcher Walter T. Swingle, and consists mostly of photographs of date palm farms in California and Arizona.

Subseries Arrangement

Materials in the subseries are arranged alphabetically by location.
Box 1, Folder 63

Aztec, AZ 1933

Box 1, Folder 64

Coachella Valley, CA undated

Box 1, Folder 65

Indio, CA 1907

Box 1, Folder 66

Indio, CA 1925

Box 1, Folder 67

Mecca, CA 1906

Box 1, Folder 68

Phoenix, AZ 1930

Box 1, Folder 69

Phoenix, AZ 1932

Box 1, Folder 70

Riverside, CA undated

Box 1, Folder  71

San Gorgonio, CA 1930

Box 1, Folder 72

Tempe, AZ 1900

Box 1, Folder 73

Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 74

Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 75

Unknown Location undated

Box 1, Folder 76

Unknown Location undated


Sub-Series 1.4. Photograph Negatives circa 1926-1979

Subseries Scope and Contents

This subseries consists of negatives not connected to any researcher, and depict mainly date palm farms and farming techniques.

Subseries Arrangement

Materials are arranged alphabetically.
Box 1, Folder 77

Date Palm Atomizer 1934

Box 1, Folder 78

"Fieldtrip, Bard TSRU" 1930

Box 1, Folder 79

Lowell School 1979

Box 1, Folder 80

"Negatives of Which No More Prints are Required" undated

Box 1, Folder 81

"Parker Arizona, Halawy" undated

Box 1, Folder 82

Trip to Willow Ranch, Gervian Ranch, and Tempe 1926

Box 1, Folder 83

"Unthinned Deglet Noor" 1940

Box 1, Folder 84

Untitled (Unknown) undated


Series 2. Newspapers 1912-1966

Series Scope and Contents

The series consists of newspaper clippings and larger newspapers on national and international date palm farms from 1912-1966.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by folder and publication title.
Box 1, Folder 85, Box 5, Folder 1

News Clippings 1912-1962

Box 5, Folder 2

Desert Rancher 1951-1964

Box 5, Folder 3

Los Angeles Times 1922-1930

Box 5, Folder 4

Pacific Royal Press 1936-1944


Series 3. Correspondence 1903-1986

Series Scope and Contents

This series consists of correspondence from 1903 to 1986 from researchers R. Holtby Meyers, Roy W. Nixon, and Walter T. Swingle regarding their research and date palm farming.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by the correspondents' last names.
Box 1, Folder 86

R. Holtby Meyers 1903-1932

Box 1, Folder 87

Roy W. Nixon 1947-1951

Box 1, Folders 1-2, Box 2, Folders 1-2

Walter T. Swingle 1904-1986

Box 2, Folder 3

West India Gardens offshore purchases 1913


Series 4. Programs 1927-1950

Series Scope and Contents

This series is made up of the Date Grower's Institute meeting invitations and programs.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged by subject.
Box 2, Folder 4

Date Grove Institute 1927-1950


Series 5. Date Palm Informational Material 1887-1967

Series Scope and Contents

This series consists of historical information, newspaper clippings, Department of Agirculture correspondence and informtion, general correspondence, photographs, and a DVD regarding date palm farms and research ranging from 1887 to 2015.

Series Arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically using the original folder titles.
Box 2, Folder 5

California Cultivator 1930

Box 2, Folder 6

Date Blossom Tie 1927

Box 2, Folder 7

Date: History and Development of the Date. How to Grow Dates. Prof. D.W. Albert University of Arizona 1930

Box 2, Folder 8

Date Industry 1887-1949

Box 2, Folder 9

Date Industry March 1950-1957

Box 2, Folder 10

Dates: Artificial Ripening, etc. By Paul B. Popence. Queensland Agr'l. Journal. 1913

Box 2, Folder 11

Dates: Arizona: The date prospers in, By Ethel W. Musgrave 1925

Box 2, Folder 12

Dates: Balling Device. Invention of an Arizona Nuseryman which is attracting attention of nursery world 1915

Box 2, Folder 13

Dates: Baluchistan. Description of Panjgur date region of, By Capt. Severn I.A. Williams 1913

Box 2, Folder 14

Dates: Best on Earth By Cully A. Cobb 1929

Box 2, Folder 15

Dates: Brazil Memo. re date culture in the State of Bahia, Brazil. By W.T. Swingle. 1925

Box 2, Folder 16

Dates: Bruce Drummond's Interesting Work, Resignation, etc. 1923

Box 2, Folder 17

Dates: Date Growing in Sunny California. By Jane Wlwyn. In Money Making 1924

Box 2, Folder 18

Dates: Date Palms and Dates. By A.A. Wheeler. In Pacific Rural Press, p. 21 1897

Box 2, Folder 19

Dates: Death Valley. The Hottest Spot in the United States, A hellish, hopeless Desert. By Mary E. Walker 1924

Box 2, Folder 20

Dates: Deglet Noor strains. By W.T. Swingle 1912

Box 3, Folder 21

Dates: Expedition to Oasis of Siwa, Report on. By H.A. Rankin 1905

Box 2, Folder 22

Dates (Florida). Growing dates in Florida. Photostat copy of illustrations 1920-1929

Box 2, Folder 23

Dates: Flower Characters. Diversity of Flower Characters in the Cultivated Varieties of Phoenix dactylifera L. 1932

Box 2, Folder 24

Dates: History (short) of the date industry of America. By W.L. Paul 1922

Box 2, Folder 25

Dates: Illustrations (photographs of date palms used in Yearbook Sep.949) 1926

Box 2, Folder 26

Date (code) Imported Date Packing Industry 1933

Box 2, Folder 27

Dates: India. Typewritten paper by A.C. Hartless, Saharnpur, India 1907

Box 2, Folder 28

Dates: Insect infestations. Various memoranda 1917-1919

Box 2, Folder 29

Dates: Mexico, Date Tree pollination. Consular Report 1909

Box 2, Folder 30

Dates: Palestine, cultivation and development of date industry. Consuler Report by H. Gordon Minnegerode, Am. Vice-Consul 1932

Box 2, Folder 31

Dates: Pollen, Visability of. 1924 A.B. Stout 1923

Box 2, Folder 32

Dates. Report for Sudan Government. By S. C. Mason 1924-1925

Box 2, Folder 33

Dates: San Joaquin Valley. W.R. Nutting 1919

Box 2, Folder 34

Dates: Selling Dates to Sportsmen. By Walter T. Swingle 1934

Box 2, Folder 35

Dates: Status of the Industry in the United States. By W.T. Swingle 1906-1913

Box 2, Folder 36

Dates: Spraying Solutions, use, etc. 1915

Box 2, Folder 37

Dates: Seteroptican Views, List of, By W.T. Swingle. (Saraha Desert) 1921

Box 2, Folder 38

Dates: Tafilet date. Memoranda, etc. By W.T. Swingle 1911

Box 2, Folder 39

Dates: Texas Agricultural Experiment Station branch - WESLACO, TEXAS Data re quarantine nursery of imported 'Iraq offshoots sent in May 1929 1929

Box 2, Folder 40

DATES: Texas, micellaneous note on dates growing in, (See also Dates: Texas Agr. Exp. Sta.) 1897-1933

Box 2, Folder 41

Dates: Transplanting seedling date palms. Bruce Drummord 1914

Box 2, Folder 42

Dates: Varieties, Braim. (Consular Report, Baghdad, Iraq, June 8, 1933) 1933

Box 2, Folder 43

Dates: Varieties. Rain-Resistant. W.T. Swingle 1930

Box 2, Folder 44

Dates. Varieties. Saidy Date of Egypt. U.S.D.A.Bul. 1125 1922-1933

Box 2, Folder 45

Dates. Varieties. Saidy Date. Notes &c. 1921

Box 2, Folder 46

Department of Agriculture 1900-1950

Box 2, Folder 47

Department of Agriculture 1952-1967

Box 2, Folder 48

DVD Collection of Date Palm Reference Material 2015

Box 2, Folder 49

Farm and Orchard Page 1927

Box 2, Folder 50

Iraq: Hammurabi's Code By C.H. Pease - Hidalgo County (Texas) Independent 1933

Box 2, Folder 51

Los Angeles Sunday Times 1921

Box 2, Folder 52

Reports & Bulletins 1914-1962


Series 6. Pamphlets circa 1914-1968

Series Scope and Contents

The collection consists of pamphlets and brochures from various date farms in Baja California, Arizona, California, and Florida from circa 1914-1968.

Series Arrangement

The series is arranged alphabetically by location.
Box 2, Folder 53

Baja California undated

Box 2, Folder 54

Coachella Valley circa 1924-1963

Box 2, Folder 55

Date Gardens, AZ circa 1946

Box 2, Folders 56-59

Date Gardens, CA circa 1914-1964

Box 3, Folder 1

Date Gardens, FL undated

Box 3, Folder 2

Desert Hot Springs undated

Box 3, Folder 3

General circa 1931

Box 3, Folder 4

Los Angeles undated

Box 3, Folder 5

Middle East undated

Box 3, Folder 6

Palo Verde Valley circa 1954

Box 3, Folder 7

Recipes circa 1968

Box 3, Folder 8

Riverside County 1938-1965

Box 3, Folder 9

San Diego County undated


Series 7. Scrapbooks circa 1909-1951

Series Scope and Contents

This series consists of eight scrapbooks depicting date palms and date palm farm research from the early to middle 1900's. Most of the photographs within the scrapbooks contain captions describing each image.

Series Arrangement

The series is arranged by the original scrapbook number.
Box 3, Folders 10-12

Palms I 1914-1935

Box 3, Folders 13-15

Palms II 1935-1940

Box 3, Folders 16-20

Palms III 1939-1948

Box 3, Folders 21-22

Palms IV 1948-1951

Box 3, Folders 23, Box 4, Folders 1-2

Palms V 1909-1926

Box 4, Folders 3-5

Crop Physiology & Breeding Investigations Scrapbook 1909-1920

Box 5, Item 5

Date Palms undated


Series 8. Maps 1914-1958, undated

Series Scope and Contents

The series is made up of maps depicting the boundaries of Arizona, India, Riverside County, and the Coachella Valley. There are maps of the Coachella Valley that focus on Native American land, canal building, and attractions. Included are two maps of the topography of California.

Series Arrangement

The series consists of 17 maps arranged by size.
map-case C-2, Folder 1

Visit the Scenic Spots in Coachella Valley - Valerie Jean Date Shop undated

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Proposed Coachella Valley Unit of All American Canal - Coachella Valley County Water District undated

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Map Showing Roads to Points of Interest in and Around the Coachella Valley - Geo. H. Schisler, Realtor undated

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Central Coachella Valley Real Estate - Richard O. (Dick) Davis 1952

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Map of Coachella Valley - Coachella Valley Board of Realtors circa 1958

map-case C-2, Folder 1

India and Ceylon - Gazetteer Index undated


2 copies
map-case C-2, Folder 1

Stay in Indio Scenic Guide and Map of the Fabulous Coachella Valley - McCandless Cadillac-Pontiac undated

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Boulder Canyon Project, All American Canal System, Imperial Irrigation District - Dept. of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation 1931


3 copies
map-case C-2, Folder 1

Automobile Road Map of Lower (Baja) California - Automobile Club of Southern California undated

map-case C-2, Folder 1

New Renié Admap of Indio and Coachella undated


2 copies
map-case C-2, Folder 1

Map of the Coachella Valley - The France Investment Company 1914

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Southwestern San Bernardino and Riverside County - Blackburn's Map of Southern California 1930

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Kaibab National Forest, Arizona - U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service 1930

map-case C-2, Folder 1

Soil Map, California Coachella Valley Sheet - U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Bureau of Soils 1923