Travis P. Hignett Memorial Library

Named in 1994 to honor the distinguished chemist, chemical technologist and developer, author and administrator, Travis P. Hignett.



The IFDC library was named the Travis P. Hignett Memorial Library in 1994 to honor the distinguished chemist, chemical technologist and developer, author and administrator. Hignett received global recognition for his many accomplishments in the fertilizer world over the course of his career. After 35 years at the Tennessee Valley Authority, Hignett served as a special consultant to IFDC for more than a decade. Often referred to as the “Father of Fertilizer Technology,” Hignett held 15 patents and was the author of more than 150 publications. He received numerous awards, including the Francis New Memorial Medal from the Fertiliser Society of London. Hignett’s working files are located in the library archives.

The library was established to provide research and technical information services for local and outposted IFDC staff engaged in agricultural research, including marketing and plant-nutrient technology, training activities and technology transfer. Industries, businesses, individual scientists and national and international organizations have also benefited from the resources and capabilities of the library. The growth of the library collection tripled with the inclusion of all the fertilizer research, agriculture and agronomy books and publications from TVA when the agency closed the Muscle Shoals Research Library in September 2010.


The library collection is accessible through the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), a part of the Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC). The subject focus of the library collection includes fertilizers and plant nutrients with special reference to developing countries, agriculture, agricultural economics, agronomy, agribusiness and marketing, chemistry and chemical engineering. The library holdings include:

  • Over 33,000 cataloged books, journals, training programs, conference proceedings, pamphlets, maps, patents (U.S. and foreign) and miscellaneous publications.
  • 517 technical journal titles and newsletters, 85 of which are current subscriptions that are available to route to employees.
  • Archival collection of fertilizer research material from the 1800s and early 1900s.
  • Extensive collection of fertilizer technology material.
  • Access to the latest fertilizer marketing information.
  • Access to collections of over 72,000 libraries worldwide through the OCLC’s Interlibrary Loan System.
  • In-depth literature searches available from over 900 vendor databases, abstracts and indexes.
  • Files of fertilizer- and agriculture-related publications from more than 130 developing countries.
  • Books and documents published by more than 300 agriculture-related organizations.


  • Conducts in-depth literature research
  • Quick answer or ready reference requests
  • Serial acquisition and circulation
  • Local area network access to library catalog
  • Alerts to current events and research articles
  • Training and support
  • Document delivery/interlibrary loan and photocopying services


For further information, questions or comments, contact or 256-381-6600.

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