Production of these records in electronic form began in 1970, but the database covers materials in all formats, including printed works from the 15th century. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines, including animal and veterinary sciences, entomology, plant sciences, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries, farming and farming systems, agricultural economics, extension and education, food and human nutrition, and earth and environmental sciences. Although the AGRICOLA database does not contain the materials, thousands of AGRICOLA records are linked to full-text documents online, with new links added daily. AGRICOLA is searchable on the World Wide Web. For information on how to obtain library materials from NAL, see NAL's Document Delivery Services web site.
The AGRICOLA database is organized into two bibliographic data sets. Each data set may be searched separately, or they may both be searched together. One data set is the NAL Online Public Access Catalog, known as "NAL Catalog", containing citations to books, audiovisual materials, serial publications, and other materials in the NAL collection. AGRICOLA also contains some bibliographic records for items cataloged by other libraries but not held in NAL's collection.
The second database is NAL's Article Citation Database, also known as: "Journal Articles". It includes citations, many with abstracts, to journal articles (see Journals Indexed in AGRICOLA), book chapters, reports, and reprints, selected primarily from the materials found in the NAL Catalog. Both data sets are updated daily with newly cataloged and indexed materials. AGRICOLA is searchable via the Web using the Endeavor "WebVoyage" gateway.