In this book I have tried – the reader may judge how successfully – to discuss, together, different stories that – although potentially autonomou s dimension s of the same story (and sometimes being given different disciplinar y labels) – seemed to me so intrinsically connected that they would have been impossibl e to understand separately. My main characters have been the three forms of investigation that Salvioni and Valenti introduced: enquiry, statistics, and monographs. The first task was to give some substance to these three names. I had to clarify what agricultural economists had in mind when they were thinking of agricultural statistics, agricultural enquiries, and farm monographs. This was especially important for enquiries, since the core notion of the enquiry, as a way of observing agriculture, was more uncertain and less familiar to us. All the three forms of investigation, however, included relatively different practices whose content changed over time. The effort to define and describe these three forms of investigation explains why this book has so little diachronic depth (it covers less than 30 years and ends more or less with the establishment of ICS and INEA) and so much more synchronic breadth.