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Joseph A. Bulkeley papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.3.98

Scope and Content

Joseph Bulkeley papers consist of transcripts of letters describing life at Michigan Agricultural College (1897-1898) and the writer's observations in his extensive travels around the United States. Added as a second accession is a set of transcribed letters of Joseph Bulkeley in the United States 1897-1899. It was edited by David Howell.


  • Creation: 1897-1898, Undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Joseph A. Bulkeley was an Australian who earned his B.S. degree in Agriculture from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1899. He was born in Australia in August 1875. His early education is unknown but he attended the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, a technical college from 1895 to 1897 and was top of the class in 1897. In that year the New South Wales government established a scholarship for gifted agricultural students as follows:

“In connection with the traveling scholarship offered by the Government for competition among diploma students of the Hawkesbury Agricultural College, the preliminary examination for which was held last week, the board appointed to award the scholarship met yesterday, and unanimously recommended Mr. J.A. Bulkeley for the distinction. Mr. Bulkeley not only came out first in the examination, but his work showed the greatest aptitude for taking advantage of the tuition offered. The board decided that Mr. Bulkeley should be sent for a short time to the various experimental farms to acquire a general knowledge of their working, and then go in for a two years’ course in one of the American colleges. The Minister approved of the board’s recommendation. On his return to this colony Mr. Bulkeley will act as instructor under the Department of Agriculture. [E(vening?) News 18 March 1897]”

He left Sydney in August 1897, traveled through Hawaii, Vancouver and Chicago and arrived in Lansing in September 1897. During his time at Lansing he traveled extensive around the U.S. visiting renowned farms, agricultural equipment makers and experimental farms. He wrote extensive letters home.

His final years are a mystery. He got a job with the NSW Department of Agriculture in 1899 but fell off a horse in 1901 and was injured badly. He seems to have recovered fully from that injury and worked again for the department between mid 1903 and 1904. He stopped working for the government but seems to have been known to his family – letters refer to “giving love to Joe” etc. The last located record of him is from 1908. (Biography provided by donor.)


0.1 Cubic Feet (, 1 folder)

Language of Materials


Related Archival Materials

See photograph of Joseph Bulkeley in UA.10.3.35.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Joseph A. Bulkeley Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
William McDaid
November 1981
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US