researching grassland records in historical literature, libraries, and archives 


Naturalist Accounts


Natural Resources



Agricultural Resources Books


County Histories & Genealogical Texts


Personal Journals



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Old Newspaper Articles

witness tree surveys

government land office surveys & plat maps

topographic maps, geographic place names indices, & gazeteers

old maps

industry records (e.g. timber sales, cattle records, pine turpentine production)

Old Newspaper Articles

  • where to find newspapers (web, archives)

  • how to access (e.g. microfilm, digital OCR collections)

  • what to look for (keywords)

Words that refer to specific grassland habitats: bald(s), bald knob(s), barren(s), barren hill(s), cane brake(s), canebrake(s), cane prairie(s), flatwood(s), glade(s), grove(s), meadow(s), oak grove(s), pine grove(s), piney grove(s), prairie(s), savanna(s), savannah(s)

Common terms used to refer to landscapes: barrens, poor pine land, scarcely timbered, scrub, sparsely timbered,

Terms that refer to particular species or plants: blackjack, blackjack oak, blue stem, bluestem, broomsedge, broomsage, cane, crab, crab orchard, greasegrass, hazel, hazel bush, hazelnut, hickory bush, longleaf pine, long needle pine, nimblewill, oak bush, pea vine, peavine, pine, plum, plum thicket, post oak, purple top, sage grass, scrub oak, shortleaf pine, wild cane, wild crab, wild plum, yellow pine

Place names on maps that refer to grassland sites: Barren Fork, Barren Plains, Barren River, Belle Meade, Big Prairie, Crab Orchard, Fairview, Hazel, Glade Branch, Glade Creek, Gladeview, Green, Lone Oak, Lonoke, Meadow Creek, Meadowview, Oak Grove, Pine Grove, Piney Grove, Pleasantview, Pleasant View, Prairie Creek, The Glades

Terms that refer to native grasslands used for livestock pasture: cattle grazing, forage, grassy, grazing, herbage, luxuriant growth, native grasses, natural pasturage, pasturage, pasture, sheep grazing, wild grass, wild grasses

References to Fire: burn, charred, conflagration, fire, Indian fire(s), lightning, scorched, wild fire

References to Early Animals: barren chicken, barren hen, buffalo, buffalo traces, buffaloes, elk(s), lick(s), painter, panther, paroquet, partridge(s), passenger pigeon, pigeon, prairie chicken(s), quail, salt lick, sulfur lick, traces, wolf, wolf pen, wolfpen, wolves

Terms indicating grasslands that are often associated with early land survey records: blackjack, blackjack oak, post oak, stack, stack in glade, stake, stake in the barrens

  • kinds of information needed

  • systematic surveying methods

  • saving and storing discovered records

  • what will happen to records that are found?

  • how will such records contribute to the mission of SGI?