National Ag-Based Lubricants Center Collection

Collection Overview

Title: National Ag-Based Lubricants Center Collection

Record Series: 15/09/02

Record Group:

15/09/02 National Ag-Based Lubricants Center Collection

Creator: National Ag-Based Lubricants Center

Date: 1997-2014; undated

Extent: 1 box (0.21 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections and University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Technical Access: The DVD requires playback equipment for access and use. Use of the DVD may require the production of a viewing copy.

Sensitive Materials Statement: Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], in the [Series Title] #[series number], [folder number or title when applicable], [Collection Name], Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access. Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

The National Ag-Based Lubricants Center (originally called the Ag-based Industrial Lubricants Center) was established in 1991 through a collaboration among the University of Northern Iowa, the Iowa Soybean Association/Iowa Soybean Promotion Board, the State of Iowa, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States Department of Energy.

It was a nonprofit research and testing facility run at UNI, with the goal of researching and providing technology transfer in order to create more environmentally-friendly industrial lubricants. Ultimately, the NABL developed and marketed over 30 products, such as multi-grade hydraulic fluids and “niche-market greases to gear lubricants.” The commercialization of its products led to the marketing of  roughly $40 million worth of lubricants.

In 2008, the NABL “received accreditation from the International Organization for Standardization,” recognizing the Center’s “ability to carry out tests and calibrations.”

The Center closed in 2014 due to its loss of federal funds.



The collection is arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content

This collection contains seven issues of the National Ag-Based Lubricants Center newsletter, the Advocate. Also included are one issue of the Fluid Power Journal, a brochure about BioSoy hydraulic oil; a Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier article about the NABL auction held following its closure; and a DVD labeled “research on soybean based oils.”


Box 1

  • Folder 1:
    • Advocate (7 issues)
    • Fluid Power Journal
    • BioSoy brochure
    • Newspaper article
    • DVD


Processing Information

Finding aid created by Library Associate Dave Hoing, August 2017. Updated January 2018 and April 2018 by Dave Hoing and Archival Processor Tessa Wakefield, November 2019. Linear feet updated September 17, 2017.